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To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine
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To Throw Away Unopened

by Viv Albertine

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To Throw Away Unopened
By Viv Albertine
2018
Faber & Faber

When Viv Albertine's mother passed on, she was left with the task of cleaning up her home and sorting through her belongings. She find a zipper bag with the words 'To throw away unopened' amongst her them, and so began the beginning of this wonderful memoir.

When her parents went through a child custody battle i the 1960s, the court encouraged each parent to keep a seperate journal, and both did. After both parents have died, Viv acquires both journals and begins to read them. They are shocking and chilling to her and leave her with even more unanswered questions.Viv's honest candor and upfront honesty about her viewpoints and emotions are admirable.

This memoir is a testimony to motherhood, and the strength of women. Throughout are many quotes by women, some humorous, some about empowerment. This is her journey and experiences being a mother to her daughter, as well as her experiences with her own mother.

Candid and absorbing, I found this book and Viv absolutely charming.
  over.the.edge | Sep 30, 2018 |
To Throw Away Unopened is Viv Albertine's second memoir. This one is all about her relationships with her family and how they've shaped her over the years, with The Slits only getting the odd mention here and there. She also talks about some of her post-divorce relationships and raising her daughter.

It's just as funny and honest as Clothes, Music, Boys. I did find parts of it quite emotionally hard to read (and some of Viv's accounts of her own behaviour made me quite exasperated!), but I think most readers will - after all, no one's family is perfect! ( )
  mooingzelda | Jul 1, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Upfront, I'm a fan of a lot of punk music and I like the Slits, so I was interested to read Albertine's book. But I was disappointed. I thought there was some weirdly forced name dropping here and there and overall, it was insight into a group of unlikeable people. It was definitely honest, scars and all, at least from one person's point-of-view, but that didn't make it something enjoyable to read. I don't think there was any redemption, I don't think there was an epiphany, but then, I don't think Viv cares.

She's a talented writer, certainly better than average. I might pick up her previous book at some point. ( )
  Sean191 | May 20, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While Albertine's previous book (Which I Loved) was growing up in London, the origins of punk, the Slits, rah-rah female empowerment and fighting for your dream, this is a much more contemplative and darker look at getting older. After their deaths, Albertine has the chance to read both her parents journals (because they were in a custody battle in the 1960s, the courts encouraged both parents to keep track of what was happening in the home) and the contents are truly chilling, leaving her with more questions than answers. The fact is though that Albertine has the chops as a writer and a person to not only dig deep and present as honest a viewpoint as she can but to make it interesting to the reader. I found this extraordinarily painful reading but can highly recommend it all the same.

Plus the best/worst death bed nursing home hospital family fight EVER.

Viv, if you are reading this, I'll take you out for a cuppa and a scone anytime

Thank you Library Thing for sending me this as part of the Early Reviewers program. ( )
1 vote laurenbufferd | Apr 13, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had never heard of this person before receiving this book through the Early Reviewers program, but what a searing memoir this is! It seems to have everything: abusive family, modern music, feminism, and (dare I say it) the well of lonliness.

Thanks, Library Thing for putting me in touch with an author I'd otherwise never pick up. ( )
  etxgardener | Apr 4, 2018 |
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"At the launch party for her memoir in 2014, Viv Albertine received the news her mother was dying. She left the party immediately and spent a few final hours with a woman who had been an enormous presence and force in her life. In the weeks that followed, Viv was left with the task of sorting through her mother's affairs. In that process she came across one fatally curious item: a bag labelled 'To throw away unopened'. This auspicious moment lies at the heart of Viv Albertine's second book, part memoir, part manifesto, part polemic in which she touches on sex, ageing, feminism (in all its guises) and other conundrums that characterise the 21st century life. It is a bold and unapologetic follow-up to a book which became a sensation by a musician and writer who sits at the heart of the counter-cultural landscape today as a celebrated and feted figure."--… (more)

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