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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2018

What was I fighting for? Even now I'm not sure. Something so old and so deep, it has no words, no shape, no logic.

Every memoir is a battle between reality and invention - but in her follow up to Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys., Viv Albertine has reinvented the genre with her unflinching honesty. 

To Throw Away Unopened is a fearless dissection of one woman's obsession with the truth - the truth about family, power and her identity as a rebel and outsider. It is a gaping wound of a book, both an exercise in bloodletting and psychological archaeology, excavating what lies beneath: the fear, the loneliness, the anger. It is a brutal expose of human dysfunctionality, the impossibility of true intimacy and the damage wrought upon us by secrets and revelations, siblings and parents.

Yet it is also a testament to how we can rebuild ourselves and come to face the world again. It is a portrait of the love stories that constitute a life, often bringing as much pain as joy. With the inimitable blend of humour, vulnerability and intelligence that makes Viv Albertine one of our finest authors working today, To Throw Away Unopened smashes through layers of propriety and leads us into a new place of savage self-discovery.

©2018 Viv Albertine (P)2018 Faber Audio

Critic Reviews

"Fierce, direct, unashamed. She masks nothing... Scythes through the myths, the distortions, the adornments and finds the rich, distinctive stories underneath." (The Sunday Times) 

"A chronicle of outsiderness... Searingly honest.... A painstaking and painful dissection of familial fallout." (The Observer)

What listeners say about To Throw Away Unopened

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Excellent

The narrator was incredible, as if she were the writer, with all the sensitivity I imagine only the writer would have. And the author, pulling back the curtains on her and her family’s life, telling with an exceptional honesty, truth telling. She has fresh writing, vivid descriptions, rare details from her broad reading, and courageous clarity. So very much to take in, reflect on, and absorb. This one will get a second listen for sure!

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  • Sarah Power
  • 01-18-19

A read again and again book!

"Viv Albertine should be anointed patron saint of the domestically dispossessed."

Viv once more entertains, enlightens and makes all the mistakes and cringe worthy life experiences we go through as women a part of a life well lived. Sibling rivalry, terrible parental relationships and Viv's own self awareness and thoughts on life are astute and more often than not heartbreakingly hilarious . I will miss her in my life, in my head and will listen again and again to this book. Really hope another appears!

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  • JC
  • 10-23-18

Brilliant

Loved it, such an honest and funny tale of Viv Albertine's life. Great narration. Would recommend

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-17-21

well written and we'll narrated

a well detailed. well written, true and real experience. some dark moments and realisations we can all learn from.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-22-21

Love Jasmine Blackborrow's narration

Jasmine really got inside Viv's head abd really did her justice.

What a kick ass woman. As the poem sort of goes They mess you up your Mum Dad. I recommend this woman who is feeling a little oppressed for whatever reason. However it does tell the story of Viv losing her mother Kathleen (also Kick-ass) so proceed with caution if this is triggering area. My favourite quote used in the book is

I am never proud to participate in violence, yet I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves, that we can be ready and able to come to our own defence when and wherever needed. Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter, 2008

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  • Becca J
  • 09-03-20

Perfection

Just utterly wonderful.
I didn't want it it end.
Thank you, Viv, please write more.

Beautiful work by Jasmine, the narrator.

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  • Valdis Anspoks
  • 02-01-20

Everyone should read or hear this.

My first audio book follows an appearance on my beloved R 4. Beautifully written, well researched, loved the quotes and a trip down memory lane. Some may consider it almost unrelentingly miserable but having shared some of her experiences I found it thoughtful and an unflinchingly accurate description of a life. Fantastic.

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  • mancbella
  • 08-23-19

very depressing

this was a difficult and painful listen. only go there if you like the dark side.

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  • Eve Johnston-Ryde
  • 08-19-19

Tough Going But So Worth It

Keep going if you, like me, found this book full on, grim and heavy. I think it's well worth the pain and getting to the end

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  • Anonymoose
  • 06-16-19

Unflinchingly honest

An unflinchingly honest and feminist memoir of family secrets and the death of Albertine’s mother. It’s told in a beguilingly non-chronological, apparently stream of conscious style. What she uncovers about her own parents as her 90-odd-year-old mother is dying unravels slowly and unsettlingly. It’s also peppered with wry take-no-shit observations about womanhood.