Stan and Nan
Sometimes, the simplest stories are the best... This is a lovely, tender book... Stan and Nan are all of our grandparents, their stability and infinite kindness much mourned as our ever-changing worlds spin frantically on.'
Rachel Cooke, Observer
My nan wrote me many letters back in 2011. They were about the love of her life, my grandad, Stanley Burndred. I've never met him, he died long before I was born, but his drawings, paintings and ceramics have been in my life for as long as I can remember. Every wall of Nan's house would be decorated by his artworks and every windowsill bore his ceramic creations. Whenever we visited Nan in the Black Country I would study the ornaments and pictures, wondering who had made them. It wasn't until I wrote to Nan many years later, receiving in return beautiful handwritten letters detailing his life, that it became apparent that the work was his.
The letters were so beautiful I felt my nan's story had to be told. Stan and Nan is the story of an ordinary couple and the people who loved them. The narrative follows their lives from Stan's working-class background, to his premature death, through to Nan's struggle to cope, and the perils of ageing. It is a memoir about the importance of family, and about death, love, living and human connection.
Format/pages: hardback / 96 pages
Publisher: Jonathan Cape