The Stirrings

No life exists outside the times.

This is a story about one young woman coming of age, and about the place and time that shaped her: the North of England in the 1970s and 80s.

About the scorching summer of 1976 – the last Catherine Taylor would spend with both her parents in their home in Sheffield.

About the Yorkshire Ripper, the serial killer whose haunting presence in Catherine’s childhood was matched only by the aching absence of her own father.

About a country thrown into disarray by the nuclear threat and the Miners’ Strike, just as Catherine’s adolescent body was invaded by a debilitating illness.

About 1989’s ‘Second Summer of Love’, a time of sexual awakening for Catherine, and the unforeseen consequences that followed it.

About a tragic accident, and how the insidious dangers facing women would became increasingly apparent as Catherine crossed into to adulthood.

Catherine Taylor was born in Waikato, New Zealand and grew up in Sheffield, South Yorkshire from the age of three. She studied English and Philosophy at Cardiff University and has worked in the book industry since 1992, for, variously, the British Library, Microsoft Encarta, Amazon, The Folio Society and most recently as the deputy director of English PEN. She is a book critic and features writer for Guardian Review, New Statesman, FT Life & Arts, The EconomistTimes Literary Supplement, Irish Times, Prospect and the i. She is co-founder of the Brixton Review of Books, a non-profit literary quarterly, and editor of The Book of Sheffield: A City in Short Fiction (Comma Press, 2019) which was chosen as the Big City Read 2020 by Sheffield Libraries. The Stirrings: Essays in Northern Time is forthcoming from Weidenfeld & Nicolson.