International Women’s Day Catherine Simpson - One Body: a Retrospective

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International Women’s Day Catherine Simpson - One Body: a Retrospective

By Lancaster Litfest

‘My memoir,’ says Catherine Simpson, ‘is about growing up and growing older in a woman’s body and was written as I went through, and recovered from, breast cancer.’

By the time she reached her fifties, Catherine had experienced period pain, childbirth, and early menopause, alongside love and laughter, a career in journalism, and raising two daughters. Like many of her peers, along the way she’d dieted, jogged, sweated, tanned, permed, and plucked – always attempting to conform to prevailing standards of ‘acceptable womanhood’. But when cancer came along, she could no longer pummel her body into submission and was forced to take stock.

In this funny and moving International Women’s Day event, Catherine Simpson presents the relatable, demystifying, often hilarious, and sometimes hair-raising story of how she navigated her cancer treatment and the emotions and reflections it provoked. And tells how she came to drop the unattainable standards imposed on her body, and
began to appreciate the skin she was in.

‘A joyful, angry, beautiful air-punch of a book, and so truthful – I felt as though each word was written on my own body'
- Kirstin Innes, author of Scabby Queen

‘A deep and soulful meditation on what it means to be a woman … powerful’ - Sunday Times

‘An often shocking reminder of the insidious sexism at large … lucid and warm’ - Times Literary Supplement

Catherine Simpson is a novelist, journalist, poet, and short story writer based in Edinburgh. She is the author of the memoir When I Had a Little Sister and a novel Truestory. Her work has been published in various anthologies and magazines in print and online, and been broadcast on BBC Radio. Born on a Lancashire dairy farm, she is now lives in Edinburgh.

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