The Trick Is to Keep Breathing

The Trick Is to Keep Breathing By Janice Galloway, The Trick Is to Keep Breathing Janice Galloway s inventive first novel is about the breakdown of a year old drama teacher named Joy Stone The problems of everyday living accumulate and begin to torture Joy who blames her proble
  • Title: The Trick Is to Keep Breathing
  • Author: Janice Galloway
  • ISBN: 9781564780461
  • Page: 222
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Trick Is to Keep Breathing By Janice Galloway, Janice Galloway s inventive first novel is about the breakdown of a 27 year old drama teacher named Joy Stone The problems of everyday living accumulate and begin to torture Joy, who blames her problems not on her work or on the accidental drowning of her illicit lover, but on herself While painful and deeply serious, this is a novel of great warmth and energy it s theJanice Galloway s inventive first novel is about the breakdown of a 27 year old drama teacher named Joy Stone The problems of everyday living accumulate and begin to torture Joy, who blames her problems not on her work or on the accidental drowning of her illicit lover, but on herself While painful and deeply serious, this is a novel of great warmth and energy it s the wit and irony found in moments of despair that prove to be Joy s salvation First published by Polygon in 1989 and Dalkey Archive Press in 1994, now available again.
    The Trick Is to Keep Breathing By Janice Galloway,
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    About "Janice Galloway"

    1. Janice Galloway

      Janice Galloway was born in Ayrshire in 1955 where she worked as a teacher for ten years Her first novel, The Trick is to keep Breathing, now widely considered to be a contemporary Scottish classic, was published in 1990 It was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel, Scottish First Book and Aer Lingus Awards, and won the MIND Allan Lane Book of the Year The stage adaptation has been performed at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, the Du Maurier Theatre, Toronto and the Royal Court in London Her second book, Blood, shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize, People s Prize and Satire Award, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year Her second novel, Foreign Parts, won the McVitie s Prize in 1994 That same year, and for all three books, she was recipient of the E M Forster Award, presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters Her story collection, Where you find it, was published in 1996, followed by a series of collaborative installation texts for sculptor Anne Bevan, published by the Fruitmarket Gallery as Pipelines in 2000 Her only play, Fall, was performed in Edinburgh and Paris in spring, 1998 She was the recipient of a Creative Scotland Award in 2001.Monster, Janice s opera by Sally Beamish, exploring the life of Mary Shelley, was world premiered by Scottish Opera in February 2002 Her third novel, Clara, based on the tempestuous life of pianist Clara Wieck Schumann, was published by Cape the same year and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize Eurasia category and the SAC Book of the Year, going on to win the Saltire Book of the Year It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 2003 Boy book see, a small book of pieces and poems , also appeared in 2002 In 2003, Janice recorded Clara as Scottish RNIB s first audio book.Rosengarten, Janice s 2003 collaboration with Anne Bevan exploring obstetric implements and the history of birthing, is now part of the premanent collection of the Hunterian Museum, and is also available as a book.In 2006, Janice won the Robert Louis Stevenson Award to write at Hotel Chevillon in Grez sur Loing, and in 2007, was the first Scottish receipient of the Jura Writer s Retreat.Janice has also worked as a writer in residence for four Scottish prisons and was Times Literary Supplement Research Fellow to the British Library in 1999 Her radio work for the BBC has included the two part series Life as a Man, a major 7 part series entitled Imagined Lives, In Wordsworth s Footsteps and Chopin s Scottish Swansong.

    693 thoughts on “The Trick Is to Keep Breathing”

    1. The Trick Is To Keep Reading Sometimes it strikes me as utterly bizarre Reading Those tiny black signs on white paper that I continue to stare at for hours each day What a strange thing to do And what incredibly diverse emotions those tiny black signs evoke in me What complete contrasts they generate, depending on which tiny black signs I choose to read at the same time In this case, I read Galloway straight after Clarice Lispector s Near to the Wild Heart, and the effect is strong If Lispector [...]

    2. Confession I can t stand looking at a crying woman.I don t want seeing any woman hurt I ve been surrounded by women in my life who at some point in their lives cried my maternal grandmother, my mother, my sister, my wife, my daughter and even some of my officemates, my friends or even total strangers.Don t get me wrong I don t hate them because they cry I don t want seeing people extremely sad that they have to shed tears I don t believe in happy tears I think those tears come down because they [...]

    3. The Trick is to Keep Reading.That is what I had to keep telling myself every 25 pages or so I would have to break away and move to another book for a bit, before I could breathe in and come back, always willingly, to this Keep Breathing of a novel.There is not too much of a plot in this book It is the account of a young woman in shock after her lover drowned in a camping resort during holidays abroad Instead of action what Janice Galloway offers us, brilliantly, is the inner pulsing of a depress [...]

    4. Depression, like Karen described Heroin addicts in her review for the sadly out of print novel Like Being Killed, is boring, self absorbed and narcissistic Depressed people are generally no fun for anyone For happy people I imagine them to be unfathomable springs of annoyance Why can t they just get on with their life, I believe they would say maybe they say other things, happy people can feel free to enlighten me here For other folks of melancholy dispositions, dealing with other depressed peop [...]

    5. Brief Interviews With Hideous ReadersB.I 12DublinQ.I want something light and airy Reading is hard After a tough day s work, I don t want to do any thinking My occupation is so important, and I have to concentrate so hard, and exert myself so strenuously, that I simply cannot focus on a page of prose for than ten minutes without collapsing in a twitching spasming heap on the floor when I get home, so I need extremely easy, unchallenging narratives that introduce me to some topic I can talk to p [...]

    6. Not sure if it s just me or the effect of reading but I m feeling distinctly light headed The trick is not to think Just act dammit.Act.Empty A faint buzzing in the ears and the distant sound of march music Sparrows squabbling over the fat balls and the craah of a jackdaw I have lost the ease of being inside my own skin.Food Food helps, and plenty of water Or tea More tea Pain in the joints, boredom of stillness.You can t stay too long in one place Something base and human as the need to pee The [...]

    7. Many years ago, I read The Bell Jar this is what I wanted and didn t get from it While Plath s novel was full of details and attitudes that seemed really alien to me, Galloway s character is incredibly, worryingly familiar.That s the thing about it, of course I m not the only person to see shades of myself in Joy Stone I see what you did with her name, Janice Galloway , but the things I recognise are probably different to the next person But it s so relatable, so very, very reasonable, that I fe [...]

    8. Ever find yourself entirely unable to describe or explain something you enjoyed reading watching consuming The Trick is to Keep Breathing fits right into that category Maybe some novels are just not meant to be reviewed Stories are sometimes most memorable for the ways they make you feel Charting the breakdown of a young teacher the ironically monikered Joy in the wake of her partner s death, it dabbles in formal experimentation a review quoted on the cover of my 1997 paperback copy describes it [...]

    9. The Trick Is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway is a book full of desperate sadness that manages to also be funny and alternately exhausting and exhilarating Joy Stone, an art teacher, has lost two men a husband through break up and, recently, a lover through drowning She is battling despair and self disgust through a deep depression and anorexia But her voice still comes through with wit and warmth As she struggles to stay connected to this world and not the world of loss and to remain engag [...]

    10. I will come back to this after a second read I read it in 24 hours It has received praise for its literary qualities and I concur don t have much to add save that the formal textual fragmentation just about works without drawing attention to itself, and is pretty minimal anyway so don t let that put you off The thing that I will return to is my shock of recognition here, in some way I suppose the literary or expressive does matter since the form of thinking matters to one caught in the web of ps [...]

    11. I have wanted to read this for absolutely ages I am quite familiar with Galloway s work, having read both volumes of her autobiographies which have been published thus far, and her collected short stories, but I hadn t got to any of her novels before spotting this in the library I was expecting such to be the case, but The Trick Is To Keep Breathing is beautifully written from the beginning Indeed, from the first paragraph alone, I knew that I would be awarding it at least a four star, if not a [...]

    12. I won this book in a giveaway and I have to admit, I probably wouldn t have picked this book up on my own, but I am so glad that I got a chance to read this Scottish modern classic.First of all I would like to say that this novel contains triggers for anorexia, anxiety and depression, amongst other mental health issues There are also sex scenes throughout, some of which are very uncomfortable to read about because of the mental state of the protagonist.Usually this wouldn t be the type of book t [...]

    13. The trick is not to start reading Page 128 and half way through I feel I have wasted precious reading time and won t be going any further with this Tedious, abstract, confusing, it does express the nature of mental illness well, but does nothing to entertain the reader If anything, it s of a fictional description of one woman s experience a glimpse into the hopelessness of it all It it is not make good material for entertaining or escapist reading It I wanted informative accounts and insights I [...]

    14. Janice Galloway s The Trick is to Keep Breathing is a profoundly disturbing story about one woman s mental breakdown following the death of her lover.Written in a series of fragments, often sharp, melancholy or bleakly funny, the book reflects the slow inward collapse of Joy Stone s world as she struggles to make sense of all around her.This claustrophobic story, which won the American Academy of the Arts E.M Forster Award in 1994 and the Mind Allen Lane Book Award in 1990, is a soul destroying [...]

    15. I picked up The Trick Is To Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway, first because I was a huge Garbage fan in high school so the title stood out to me, and second because the subject matter intrigued me Wow, this book might linger with me for quite a while It s told in a stream of consciousness, diary type style which was very difficult to follow Much like The Bell Jar, this woman s head is NOT a fun place to be The main character, ironically named Joy, is trying to cope with the recent death of her [...]

    16. The main character in this novel, ironically named Joy, is as deeply depressed as any character I ve encountered Joy has lost her mother to suicide and has broken off her long term relationship with a boyfriend She started an affair with a married man who unexpectedly dies as well Reviewers say the novel is full of great warmth and energy , that the wit and irony found in moments of depair prove to be Joy s salvation It didn t feel that way to me The novel closes with Joy drinking heavily again [...]

    17. This book is good where good productive hardworking wouldn t say boo where good value for money where good neat, acting in a credit worthy manner where good not putting anyone out by feeling too much, blank, unobtrusive Love Emotion embarrassment Scots equation Exceptions are when roaring drunk or watching football Men do rather better out of this loophole.

    18. Review can also be found at Snow White Hates Apples.Never have I felt so terrible and sad for a character until Joy Stone this name made her sadder cause can you imagine a stone having any expression Especially a happy one came along.The death of her lover, Michael, leaves her in shock and depressed, though what makes her situation difficult is the fact that she is the mistress Although her lover was going through the process of his divorce, it if I remember correctly wasn t finalized and as a [...]

    19. UNCOUNTABLE STARSOne of my favourite books of all time There are split seconds in the morning between waking and sleep when you know nothing Not just things missing like where or who you are, but nothing The fact of being alive has no substance No awareness of skin and bone, the trap inside the skull For these split seconds you hover in the sky like Icarus Then you remember Bought in Scotland in my teen years by the love of my life, at least of the first part of my life, I kept coming back to it [...]

    20. OVERALL IMPRESSION I really enjoyed The Trick Is To Keep Breathing Galloway takes you deep into the psyche of a woman who is mentally falling apart This isn t an easy place to be and the novel becomes overwhelming and claustrophobic at times I would not have been able to finish it if Galloway had made it any longer The length is perfect I was moved to tears because Galloway gives her readers a front row seat to witness someone coming apart at the seams Joy is the main character and Galloway allo [...]

    21. 1 i like that i had to interlibrary loan this book and it came from southern methodist university in dallas texas which is now home to the george dubya bush presidential center note that it isn t a library like all the other 14 presidential libraries, oh sure he has a library there too but no books so not exactly a library no and i was the first person to check this book out since the university bought it in 1995 sorry dalkey, no disrespect there, it s just how it is in good ol heartland etc etc [...]

    22. A haunting depiction of grief The way Galloway plays with form is subtle enough not to be obnoxious but instead to convey accurately the stalled, slow passage of time in depression, and the stalled, slow thinking process of depression It is also refreshing that this novel defies the recovery narrative progression This is not a book about getting better It is a book about getting by, and the passage of time when you are waiting for this too to pass My favourite part is when she is trying to figur [...]

    23. No matter how often I think I can t stand it any, I always do There is no alternative I don t fall, I don t foam at the mouth, faint, collapse or die It s the same for all of us You can t get out of the inside of your own head Something keeps you going Something always does This book was a beautifully written and haunting account of the breakdown of a grief filled mind Told through flashbacks and disjointed narrative, with unconventional page layout, this is the best and most beautifully written [...]

    24. I know that I haven t been reading at all and I put this book off cause I had finals, but now I feel the need to read a ton since I am in the middle of finals I only had about 60 pages of this left so it really needed to be finished Nothing happens in this book It isn t like My Revolutions where things happen and they are boring in this book nothing actually happens she is depressed,she thinks about being depressed Then it has the classic english ending If that spoils the book for you I apologiz [...]

    25. It took me a while to get into this book but it was well worth the effort It is a novel about depression It s also funny Having suffered from depression for years on and off I have to acknowledge the importance of humour in coping with it Galloway s protagonist is also a heroine She survives, not without cost but she does survive The writing style is quite unique but dig in.

    26. The trick, finally, is to Forgive Yourself Everyday It doesn t have to be in public, or even aloud Really one of the most perceptive novels on mental illness, and depression anxiety, that I ve read It s got a lot of humor, a lot of sadness, and even some hope, too It really does help to keep breathing.

    27. I rarely give up on a book but made an exception for this I genuinely did not care whether the protagonist lived or died The typesetting was a failed attempt to be clever.There are better books to read than this, not least Surfacing Margaret Atwood

    28. My favorite book I ve ever read I think I ve read it 6 or 7 times It s similar to The Bell Jar, but I think it s written much better and the main character is so much easier to identify with.

    29. Feel like I m watching someone spiral down into depression, and can only hope that she manages to pull herself out of it.

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