Book of the week: Michael Rosen's This Is Not My Nose

23rd January 2004 at 00:00
This is Not my Nose: a memoir of illness and recovery
By Michael Rosen
Penguin pound;7.99

Michael Rosen's first poetic memoir was almost unreadable in its pain and its loss. Carrying the Elephant dealt with the sudden death of his teenage son from meningitis, and how he struggled to find his feet in the changed world afterwards.

Now, two years later, comes This is Not my Nose: a memoir of illness and recovery, in which Rosen revisits the years of his life when he grew slowly and unknowingly ill and how it felt to be eventually diagnosed and treated.

No subject matter, thank God, could ever be as dreadfully compelling as that of his first memoir, but this second autobiographical offering from one of the UK's leading children's poets is still gripping stuff.

Illness crept up on him by stealth. First there was a swollen eyelid and streaming eyes. Then his voice became lower, his face and fingers swelled, his hair turned to frizzled wire, and he could no longer keep warm.

Read more in this week's TES Friday magazine

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