Troubador Broccoli and Bloody-Mindedness

Released: 28/11/2016

ISBN: 9781785893766

Format: Paperback

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Broccoli and Bloody-Mindedness

A Memoir


Born prematurely in 1931 with cerebral palsy, Antonia grows, with uncoordinated arms and odd appearance, but finds compensation in her sharp intelligence and sense of fun. A roller-coaster childhood of fury and naughtiness follows, due to physical frustration, adult misunderstanding and name-calling. Unable to write, she teaches herself to type; slowly and arduously, but it enables her to get an education. After winning a place at Durham University, marrying Hugo, and starting their family, she moves to South Africa where the cruelty of Apartheid horrifies her; the rebel within is reactivated. She sells aluminium coffins, then teaches black students, which aggravates the authorities and triggers their decision to return to the UK. The adjustment to life in the UK proves difficult. After the breakdown of her marriage, she moves into a large old house and fills it with selected male lodgers. She retrains as a psychotherapist and finds deep fulfilment in this work for many years. She also becomes a campaigner for the medical use of cannabis, which takes her to Westminster. Her new doctor asks how she has survived into her mid-eighties. She replies, “Broccoli and bloody-mindedness!” Broccoli and Bloody-mindedness spans more than eighty years and explores many places, from South Wales to South Africa. A quirky, often funny, yet thought-provoking memoir, it shows how Antonia coped with everyday difficulties, as well as challenging herself in more unusual, occasionally bizarre circumstances.

Books Monthly

Female First

It is not often, these days, that I read a book from cover to cover, to the detriment of everything else.

I couldn't put this book down. It is often said that truth is stranger than fiction, and Antonia Lister-Kaye's frank and funny memoir proves this.

The book is bursting with the life force that clearly conquered disability with humour, wit, intelligence, empathy and a very healthy disregard for conventions and the expectations of others.

A truly inspirational life-story and testament to the kind of individuality that people these days are often afraid to express.

by Amazon review

This is a really good read – an absolute page-turner – I couldn’t put it down! It’s a fascinating insight into a person with such character who has cerebral palsy.

This is her story of negotiating life’s difficulties and the adventures she has on the way. The scrapes she gets into are sometimes serious, but mostly hilarious. A feel-good story that will leave you on a high!

by Amazon review

A most interesting memoir, both funny and moving, and enriched by Antonia's meticulous diary-keeping over a lifetime. Because she has this running account. to refer to, she is able to bring alive past decades in vivid and precise detail.. I chose to give copies of this book to many friends this year as my chief Christmas present and everyone seems to have loved it.

by Amazon review

A great read - inspirational, humorous and sometimes sad. This memoir gives the reader a fascinating insight into a person who conquers her cerebral palsy with her amazing life force - humour and intelligence. A truly inspiring life-story!

by Amazon review

This memoir is first of all a very good read. It tells the life story of its author, Antonia (Toni in most parts of the book) who has cerebral palsy, affecting her upper limbs and facial muscles .

Although this handicap is part of her story, it really is more a triumph of her intelligent and fun loving character. Each chapter can be read as an individual episode, but you will want to read on, as she moves , at first with her parents and later her husband, to different countries and towns..

Her ability to draw pictures of these places and her insight into the significant people of each episode means the reader shares each stage of her story.

I highly recommend this book as both entertainment and a celebration of the author's life .

by Amazon review

If ever a book should be a tv series or film then this it is . I cannot recommend it enough. Read this and then moan if you dare about petty things in your life .

by Jillian Richardson

Funny, thought-provoking and memorable. This is an affirmative read for all those who feel like they don't fit in.

by Shirley O'Reagan (NetGalley)

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