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Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward Review

Title: Bone

Author: Yrsa Daley-Ward

First published June 16, 2014

138 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780143132615 (ISBN10: 014313261X)

Rating: 4.17


Step into the raw and intimate world of Yrsa Daley-Ward’s “Bone” – a powerful collection of autobiographical poems that delve deep into the heart, life and inner self. With a visceral and close-to-the-bone style, these poems are honed to their very essence – universal reflections on the human experience.

Daley-Ward navigates the complexities of religion, desire and womanhood, sharing her experiences as a first-generation black British woman and exploring the vulnerable depths of love and loss. With unflinching honesty, “Bone” lays bare the beauty and pain of what it truly means to be alive.

About the Author

Meet Yrsa Daley-Ward, a talented writer and poet with a unique blend of West Indian and West African ancestry. Raised by her devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents in the small town of Chorley in the North of England, Yrsa’s diverse background has inspired her work.

Her first collection of captivating stories, ‘On Snakes and Other Stories’, was recently published by 3:AM Press.

Editoral Review

Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward is a powerful and poignant memoir that explores the complexities of identity, belonging, and trauma. Daley-Ward is a British-Jamaican poet, model, and actress who rose to fame through her poetry performances and social media presence.

In Bone, she chronicles her life growing up in a dysfunctional family in the north of England, struggling with the pain of her absent father, her mother’s mental illness, and her own sexuality. The memoir is written in a lyrical and evocative style, with a mix of poetry, prose, and personal anecdotes.

Daley-Ward’s language is raw and honest, capturing the emotional intensity of her experiences with sensitivity and depth. She explores themes of race, class, sexuality, and mental health, drawing on her own life as well as the stories of her family and friends.

At its core, Bone is a coming-of-age story about a young girl trying to find her place in the world. Daley-Ward’s childhood was marked by instability and trauma, as she struggled to navigate her own identity and relationships amidst the chaos of her family life.

Despite the challenges she faced, however, she persevered and found solace in poetry and writing. One of the strengths of Bone is its nuanced characterization of the people in Daley-Ward’s life.

She portrays her family members and friends with empathy and understanding, showing both their flaws and their strengths. Her mother, for example, is a complex figure who is both loving and abusive, tender and volatile.

Another strength of the memoir is its exploration of the intersectionality of identity. Daley-Ward is a black, working-class, queer woman, and she delves into the ways in which these identities intersect and influence her experiences.

Through her stories and poetry, she sheds light on the systemic injustices and prejudices she has faced, while also celebrating the resilience and creativity of marginalized communities. Despite its many strengths, Bone is not without its flaws.

At times, the nonlinear structure of the book can be confusing, as Daley-Ward jumps back and forth in time without clear transitions. Additionally, some readers may find the graphic descriptions of abuse and trauma to be triggering or unsettling.

Overall, Bone is a powerful and evocative memoir that speaks to the complexities of the human experience. Daley-Ward’s writing is both lyrical and raw, capturing the emotional intensity of her story with skill and sensitivity.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in memoirs, poetry, or social justice issues. It is a poignant reminder of the power of storytelling to heal and connect us to one another.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars.