“You know when it’s ready. The form of a book is ready when it vibrates.”

– Gwendoline Riley, Speaking at London Review Bookshop, February 2017

‘Considering one’s life requires a horribly delicate determination, doesn’t it? To get to the truth, to the heart of the trouble. You wake and your dreams disband, in a mid-brain void. At the sink, in the street, other shadows crowd in: dum thugs (they are everywhere) who’d like you never to work anything out.’

– Gwendoline Riley, First Love

‘My dad had my mum trapped inside his failing personality, in those four walls. Walls and floors. My mum curled up on the floor.’

– Gwendoline Riley, Cold Water

‘And then there’d be tears. More specifically, there’d be sniffing. I couldn’t stand it. All of her crying sounded like singing to me. I thought cruel thoughts like maybe my dad had smacked her in the head once too often. She acted frightened all the time. And there was a petulance in there too, a martyrdom, that’s what I couldn’t take.’

– Gwendoline Riley, Cold Water