Out on 29 August 2024

My Good Bright Wolf

Sarah Moss

29 August 2024
320 pages


From Sarah Moss, the Sunday Times bestselling author, My Good Bright Wolf is a memoir about thinking and reading, eating and denying your body food, about privilege and scarcity, about the relationships that form us and the long tentacles of childhood.

In the household of Sarah Moss's childhood she learnt that the female body and mind were battlegrounds. 1970s austerity and second-wave feminism came together: she must keep herself slim but never be vain, she must be intelligent but never angry, she must be able to cook and sew and make do and mend, but know those skills were frivolous. Clever girls should be ambitious but women must restrain themselves. Women had to stay small.

Years later, her self-control had become dangerous, and Sarah found herself in A&E. The return of her teenage anorexia had become a medical emergency, forcing her to reckon with all that she had denied her hard-working body and furiously turning mind.

My Good Bright Wolf navigates contested memories of girlhood, the chorus of relentless and controlling voices that dogged Sarah’s every thought, and the writing and books in which she could run free. Beautiful, audacious, moving and very funny, this memoir is a remarkable exercise in the way a brain turns on itself, and then finds a way out.

I've never read anything quite like My Good Bright Wolf. Part memoir, part confessional, part dark and feverish fairytale, Moss explores her subject matter with characteristic attentiveness and unflinching honesty. This book invites the reader to step into the narrator's oftentimes uncomfortable shoes and, in doing so, confront what it means to be a woman, an artist, a human being, trying to find a way to be.
A counterspell to the dark enchantment of anorexia, and an utterly original testimonial of great candour and eloquence, hope and redemption. An unflinching take on feminist and literary history, the indignities of illness, and the vulnerabilities of childhood. Sarah Moss does it again.
Devastating, funny and full of brilliant insights. This is a brave book, but more than that it is generous. It has made me think about how incredibly porous we all are: to our families, to society, to culture, to each other. That's why this book is important: it asks us to take responsibility for our impact on each other.