Poignant, beautifully observed memoir that 'guides us to an unexpected and deeply moving redemption'

03 March 2020 - 12:44
Meersman's poignant memoir pays testament to the power of love and the quiet heroism of resilience.
Meersman's poignant memoir pays testament to the power of love and the quiet heroism of resilience.
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I remembered how, when I was a small child supposed to be asleep, my mother would slip into bed behind me and hold me. She would be trembling. She couldn’t hide it no matter how young I was. ‘Go to sleep, go to sleep,’ she’d say, as if that would save us.

Brent Meersman’s poignant memoir of a humble and eccentric upbringing in Cape Town in the 1970s and ’80s reads as a stirring eulogy to his mother and a vivid snapshot of the times.

His adoring mother, a horse-­loving artist, received only rudimentary treatment for her schizophrenia, while his father battled a vicious whirlpool of alcohol-fuelled depression.

A Childhood Made Up is beautifully observed and filled with wry humour. Delicate yet brutal, this story pays testament to the power of love and the quiet heroism of resilience.

“Through pain and grief, larded with comic flashes, Meersman skilfully guides us to an unexpected and deeply moving redemption.” -Justice Edwin Cameron

Brent Meersman is a well­-known writer and journalist whose work is published internationally. He is co-­editor of GroundUp news. His books include Primary Coloured, Reports Before Daybreak, Five Lives at Noon, 80 Gays Around the World and Sunset Claws.