Slammerkin: Book summary and reviews of Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue

Slammerkin

by Emma Donoghue

Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue X
Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2001
    352 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

Slammerkin: A loose gown; a loose woman.

Born to rough cloth in Hogarth's London, but longing for silk, Mary Saunders's eye for a shiny red ribbon leads her to prostitution at a young age. A dangerous misstep sends her fleeing to Monmouth, and the position of household seamstress, the ordinary life of an ordinary girl with no expectations. But Mary has known freedom, and having never known love, it is freedom that motivates her. Mary asks herself if the prostitute who hires out her body is more or less free than the "honest woman" locked into marriage, or the servant who runs a household not her own? And is either as free as a man?

Ultimately, Mary remains true only to the three rules she learned on the streets: Never give up your liberty. Clothes make the woman. Clothes are the greatest lie ever told.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Donoghue's characterizations are excellent, and her brutal imagery and attention to language capture the spirit of the time with vital precision." - Publishers Weekly.

"An ideal choice for book groups; recommended for all public and academic libraries." - Library Journal.

"What is most amazing is Donoghue's capacity for tackling weighty issues (prostitution, crime, and slavery) while avoiding didacticism." - Booklist.

""Donoghue has produced an absorbing, moving, and intelligent work of fiction . . . an exhilarating dialogue..." - The Times (UK).

"Finding a language that inhabits but is in no way weighted down by its time, Donoghue has made of an 'obscure and brutal story' a compelling novel . . . and a brilliant historical variant on the 'girl about town." - The Financial Times (UK).

This information about Slammerkin shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Emma Donoghue Author Biography

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in October 1969, Emma Donoghue is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue (the literary critic). She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one eye-opening year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 she earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin (unfortunately, without learning to actually speak French). She moved to England, and in 1997 received her PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. From the age of 23, she has earned her living as a writer, and has been lucky enough to never have an 'honest job' since she was sacked after a single summer month as a chambermaid. After years of commuting ...

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Name Pronunciation
Emma Donoghue: don-a-hue

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