This is the Place to Be
Published by CB Editions
‘What makes a life? Lara Pawson’s lucid, sudden and subtle memoir unpicks the spirals of memory, politics, violence, to trace the boundaries and crossing points of gender and race identity.’ – Joanna Walsh
‘A crushingly honest memoir of war, war correspondence and personal mayhem ... Her focus is direct, bleakly honest, and as a result full of hope.’ – M. John Harrison
‘Lara Pawson’s This Is the Place to Be is a stark, compassionate and troubling text that summons a fragmentary autobiography, circling experiences from her growing up in England and her time as a reporter covering civil wars in Angola and Ivory Coast. She deals with big questions through an intimate mosaic of lived experiences – the blank, funny, awful, gentle shards that remain in memory years after events have taken place – returning her again and again to the themes of identity, violence, race, class, sexuality and the everyday lives of people across several continents.
‘The simple form of the book belies a complex structure of association and contrast, point and counterpoint, in which the disconnected events of a life speak to and about each other across time and space, in illuminating ways. Reminiscent on a formal level of Edouard Levé’s Autoportrait and the writing under constraint of Perec and the OuliPo group, Pawson’s poetic recounting of facts also shares something of Kathy Acker and J. G. Ballard, in its attempt to write through both the extraordinary horror and the extraordinary mundanity of trauma.’ – Tim Etchells