Polari Prize: This Much is True by Miriam Margolyes

What is the Polari Prize?

This Much is True

One criticism I often make of the celebrity autobiography is that the celebrity in question hasn’t lived long enough to tell the reader much of their life. That cannot be said of Miriam Margolyes’ autobiography! 

Suddenly I’m eighty. How can that possibly be? Eighty is OLD!

The cover of This Much is True by Miriam Margolyes

Straightaway, we can hear Miriam’s voice screaming off the page! But then we get to dive into some amazing anecdotes and stories from a life that has been full of adventure. There are stories of acting, of course, but I always love the personal stories, of where people begin.

And of course, the pictures. No celebrity autobiography would be complete without one or two glossy photos. And these add to the sense that, by the end of the book, we know a little bit about the lady behind the funny, rude and crude lady that we love on interviews.

Fun, funny and thoughtful

There is, of course, bucketloads of fun in this book. From being asked “Do you fuck?” by Warren Beatty to being told off by the Queen, Miriam’s life story is told in the way that we expect it to be told.

close up photo of woman lying on hammock while holding a book
Photo by Ekam Juneja on Pexels.com

But we’re invited into Miriam’s Jewish roots, the anti-Jewish feelings that her grandparents felt and into the lockdown world of a scared Miriam, afraid to leave the home because of Covid. 

Despite the loud, almost attention seeking behaviour, there are moments of real vulnerability in this book.

Would I read more?

Because of timings and editing work, I simply don’t have time to review, in depth, all of the books on the shortlist. Maybe, in time, I will but by reading a short section, I thought I would be able to ask myself if I would want to read more of this book.

I had, actually, read this one! But my copy has gone straight to Mum, who was desperate to read it!

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Published by Nick Taylor | Editor & Proofreader

Editor and proofreader specialising in LGBTQ+ writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

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