Learning to Talk

Learning to Talk A companion piece to the captivating memoir GIVING UP THE GHOST by the Man Booker winning author this collection of loosely autobiographical stories locates the transforming moments of a haunted chil

  • Title: Learning to Talk
  • Author: Hilary Mantel
  • ISBN: 9780007166442
  • Page: 256
  • Format: Paperback
  • A companion piece to the captivating memoir GIVING UP THE GHOST by the Man Booker winning author, this collection of loosely autobiographical stories locates the transforming moments of a haunted childhood.

    • Learning to Talk « Hilary Mantel
      256 Hilary Mantel
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      Posted by:Hilary Mantel
      Published :2019-04-19T05:24:52+00:00

    About "Hilary Mantel"

    1. Hilary Mantel

      Hilary Mantel is the bestselling author of many novels including Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction Bring Up the Bodies, Book Two of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, was also awarded the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Book Award She is also the author of A Change of Climate, A Place of Greater Safety, Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, An Experiment in Love, The Giant, O Brien, Fludd, Beyond Black, Every Day Is Mother s Day, and Vacant Possession She has also written a memoir, Giving Up the Ghost Mantel was the winner of the Hawthornden Prize, and her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times,The New York Review of Books, and the London Review of Books She lives in England with her husband.

    262 thoughts on “Learning to Talk”

    1. Read for my last participation in Dewey's 24-Hour ReadathonShort stories are always good for a readathon, and when I spotted Mantel's collection in my University library, I just couldn't resist taking it away with me. I really enjoy her writing on the whole, and there are some absolute gems here; indeed, I absolutely loved the first story, and a couple of the later ones almost matched its wonderful pace and intrigue. Some did not quite live up to the brilliance of others, but the thematic elemen [...]


    2. I got the book from the library without realising that this is a companion volume to Giving Up The Ghost. It's possible I would have had a different view of the book had I read both volumes together. As it is, however, I didn't enjoy the short stories at all. I found them too disjointed centred as they were around childhood memories that seemed trivial. The only story that caught my attention was 'Learning to Talk" as this had a clear and relatable theme, namely how 'talking' (accent, delivery, [...]


    3. these stories are told from the perspective of growing children, children older than their years because their lives, their circumstances, the flawed and fragile people around them, have necessitated it. yet nothing is a trite coming-of-age tale. Hilary Mantel writes prose eloquent, surprising, beautiful - and humorous - and the characters and cultures of Manchester and the English north, also the past, rise eerily to life.oh, and she has so many memorable lines:"Our huddle of stones and slates, [...]



    4. Made me think of French author Annie Ernaux - stories of class, shame, poverty, etc. These were powerful short stories that I enjoyed reading.


    5. Precise, sort of agonising, beautiful. I think of all the writers I love, Hilary Mantel is the one I would most like to be best friends with.


    6. The funny and elegant title story, "Learning to Talk", published originally in 1987, was the first to be written. Forced to pass exams in elocution in order to lose her local accent, the narrator distances herself from class snobbery and makes her own discoveries of Shakespeare. In "King Billy Is a Gentleman", the narrator looks back from his adult life as a lawyer and relates the random cruelties of his childhood to the Northern Ireland Troubles. In "The Clean Slate", a writer whose mother is d [...]


    7. Mantel has a superb way with language and her style of writing works well in the short story format. If only there had been one or two more stories in this slim collection. The publisher 'cleverly' presents the text with wide margins, but any reader can tell this small collection is less than a full book's worth, and very few other authors would get the opportunity to present their short fiction in this way. The collection also includes an extract from Mantel's memoir, 'Giving Up the Ghost', and [...]


    8. I enjoyed these stories and she certainly knows how to write evocative, literary, emotional scenes. But these "stories" adhere so closely to her autobiography--as evidenced in the final selection in the book, which is essay and not fiction--that I wonder whether or not to regard these as fiction. They seem more like memory pieces. This doesn't take anything away from her writing skills, but I wonder why she insists on defining them as fiction. What's the difference? Well, the overlay of imaginat [...]


    9. Muy bien escritas si nos limitamos a valorar el estilo, la capacidad para poner una palabra detrás de otra, una frase detrás de otra de manera hermosa, pero de efecto absolutamente nulo en lo que a mi respecta, las seis historias que componen el libro están unidas por un planteamiento muy similar que sí, las relaciona de manera natural, pero que también las hace reiterativas, cansinas, intercambiables. Hilary Mantel tiene una reputación excelente como escritora pero, una de dos, o estas hi [...]


    10. I think Hilary Mantel is an extremely talented and surprising writer, but on its own, I imagine this book could be confusing and ultimately disappointing. While Mantel's talent remains, it is almost necessary to read this and Giving Up The Ghost as companion pieces--otherwise I think Learning To Talk would come across as disjointed, random and confusing. What was most compelling about this book was the retreading and retelling of familiar themes through a fictionalized universe, but they do not [...]


    11. Hilary Mantel manages to set the scene of the grim north with excellent prose and descriptions but I didn't feel compelled or empathetic towards the characters. It did feel to me as if I was a very distant observer, but perhaps this is the down side of short story compilations.I read alongside JD Salinger's collection of short stories and enjoyed these much more because of the plot so brilliantly unfolding in just a few pages.


    12. Forgot my book when leaving the house AGAIN!!! Bought these by Queen Hilary of England to keep me going .d they are really very good !!!!I loved these stories . Only read Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies before.ghtfully light, lots of memories of Manchester d very poignant


    13. The language is beautiful - you see, hear, taste, touch, smell every relevant detail. Mantel also captures the heart-breaking bewilderment of the clever and poorly-educated child. A glimpse of auto-biography that leads you to want more.


    14. Fabulously written short stories, all except the last one which just didn't work for me as a short story and was more like an introduction to longer novel,


    15. I loved these stories and really did not know what to expect as Hilary's writings are so far reaching. I loved these and will continue to scour her back catalogue for gems.




    16. Brilliant book - beautifully and descriptively written. Not one superfluous word. Funny and touchingLoved it. Also have the audio version which I'll listen to many many times


    17. The book is a collection of short stories , one of which Learning to talk.The stories are funny and some have a little suspense in them.


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