Some Answers without Questions by Lavinia Greenlaw: Finding her voice

This nonfiction is memoir, polemic, essay, experiment and furious tally of hideous men

Lavinia Greenlaw. Photograph: Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty

Lavinia Greenlaw. Photograph: Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty

Memoir, polemic, essay, prose experiment and furious tally of hideous men: Lavinia Greenlaw’s third book of nonfiction – she’s also the author of three novels and six poetry collections – is a pointed, svelte but diverse work. 

To put it too simply, Some Answers Without Questions is a reflection on voice, on the ways, especially for a woman writing, a voice may be acquired or lost, fought for and fretted over, refused by others or by oneself. In 30 short chapters that grow formally stranger and more fragmented as she proceeds, Greenlaw describes a life and career spent feeling ambivalent about her own words and how (or whether) they make it into the world. 

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