There Is No Blue | Granta

  • Published: 18/01/2024
  • ISBN: 9781803511047
  • Granta Books
  • 192 pages

There Is No Blue

Martha Baillie

The three protagonists in this memoir are dead: a mother, a father, and a sister. A bookish and artistic family living in a beautiful old house in a pleasant part of Toronto. Two girls growing up in the 60s and 70s. All seems well until one of them begins to manifest signs of distress, leading, eventually, to a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

In this triptych of beautifully written memoir-essays, Canadian author Martha Baillie reflects on the complex entangled lives of her mother, father and sister.

There Is No Blue is both a close observation of a family’s experience of a diagnosis of mental illness, and a layered story of grief.

This is a stunning memoir, intense and meticulous in its observations of family life. Baillie subtly interrogates and conveys the devastating mistranslations that take place in childhood, the antagonism and porousness of siblings, and the tragedy of schizophrenia as it unfolds. I couldn't put it down.

Lisa Appignanesi

A meditation on the mystery and wonder of grief and art making and home and memory itself... Baillie's variety of attention, carved out of language, is tenderness, is love... Extraordinary

Maud Casey, author of City of Incurable Women

Exquisite

Souvankham Thammavongsa, author of How to Pronounce Knife