'Georgia Blain began to write The Museum of Words shortly after undergoing surgery for removal of an aggressive, malignant tumour from the language centre in her brain. The tumour was incurable. Blain knew that, at best, she ‘wouldn’t last more than a couple of years’. She died thirteen months later, in December 2016. The Museum of Words, as its subtitle – ‘a memoir of language, writing, and mortality’ – signals, is less about dying than it is about the beauty, complexity and necessity of language. ‘Language’, Blain insists, ‘is at the core of our being. The way in which we express ourselves is inextricably linked to who we are and how others see us.’ Blain expresses herself with a decided absence of sentimentality or self-pity. Her valedictory memoir is a celebration of the lives of four women, their relationships with each other and with language and writing. It is also a love letter to three of those women, to her life partner Andrew Taylor and to her own writing life.' (Introduction)
Epigraph: ‘…words, words, words on the page, as though I could somehow build a fortress to encase myself, a word structure so robust that I wouldn’t crumble’.
Georgia Blain, The Museum of Words