Who gets to tell their story? And what kind of voices get lost along the way? In The Lost Properties of Love, Sophie Ratcliffe focuses on female experience, both real and fictional to ask questions about the way we write lives. Formally experimental, the book moves between memoir, imagined history, literary criticism and biography to think about the narratives that shape our emotional and romantic landscape – and about the idea of ‘exhibitionism’ as a critical trope.
The Lost Properties of Love is embedded in Ratcliffe’s research in 19th century literature and histories of reading of emotion. As such, she blends her own account of childhood grief, marriage and motherhood with the story of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and snatches from the life of Trollope’s near-forgotten muse, the pioneering journalist, Kate Field.
Sophie has spoken about The Lost Properties of Love to variety of public audiences, ranging from an in conversation with Phillipe Sands at The Hay Literary Festival to a discussion about bereavement and trauma at Sobell House Hospice’s #dyingmatters week.
Praise for The Lost Properties of Love
‘Magnificent… The Lost Properties of Love is glorious on the journeys of life, love and loss, stirringly intimate, deeply painful, occasionally hilarious. It deserves to do brilliantly.’ Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
‘Sophie Ratcliffe brings a breathtaking honesty and a cool precision to her imaginative meditation on the lessons of Anna Karenina – it is a true tour de force which is both moving and exhilarating to read.’ Rosamund Bartlett, author of Tolstoy: A Life and the translator of Anna Karenina
‘'Wonderful and highly individual. The pages crackle with her cleverness and she has a genius for concision. And, yes, she is extremely likeable. She's witty and original, but also human….' Cressida Connolly, The Spectator
‘A compelling and very honest book. At times it made me think of Tracey Emin’s bed! So many of the details and detritus of a life arranged in a work of art.’ Neil Tennant musician and co-founder of the Pet Shop Boys