Her first book, The Black Pencil Woman: A Portrait of my Motherwas published by The Book Guild: Brighton, on May 31st 2012. The work is an inter-textual memoir set in the years between 1950 and 1967 in a ‘constructed’ colliery village on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Other works in progress include 'I Thought it was Me', living with someone with a personality disorder (fiction) and 'Leave a Light on for Me', about a child with learning difficulties ...... and how he and his family managed and coped (fiction).
‘Magnetic Man’, a work of fiction, will be about a passionate, sexual, wonderful and impossible love affair around Europe with a travel documentary inherent in the narrative, is also in the pipeline.
Ros Holland is currently in the process of pulling her poetry into a collection for publication. Her poems are currently being used by Newcastle Adult Learning Centre in the UK. Read some of Ros Holland's poems.
Authors Website? www.focuswriting.co.uk
Author on Social Media?
The Black Pencil Woman: A Portrait of my Mother: Ros Holland.The Book Guild. Brighton: £17.99 Spring 2012
Literary Work in Progress
‘Leave a Light on for Me’: A story about the unheard suffering of children with mild learning disabilities. Fiction: based on a true story set in Newcastle and the north east
'I Thought it was Me': which is about living with someone with a personality disorder (Fiction)
‘Magnetic Man’: Fiction: a passionate, sexual, wonderful, impossible love affair around Europe: travel documentary is within the narrative
PhD in Health Psychology: MA (Ed) Psychology and social psychology/health education; Advanced Diploma in Education in Social psychology/health/educational psychology; Cert Ed. Home Economics,
Diploma in Journalism; Diploma in Computing Studies.
From the front jacket
The Black Pencil Woman is Ros Holland’s highly personal memoir of her life and family, centred around her parents and sparked by her mother’s death. Her mother was the black pencil woman of the book’s title, slim and chic in her customary stiletto heels. Her father, whom Ros adored, died when Ros was ten, and her mother’s overwhelming grief coloured Ros’s early life in unexpected ways, which she examines with calm, almost brutal, honesty. Through an experimental narrative that roams freely, from the First World War and the hardships of a Northumberland mining community in the 1930s, to the post-war rehabilitation wards of a 1950s hospital and the stark reality of a murder in the 1960s, Holland explores the rawness of childhood bereavement, and all the joys and sorrows of family life. The voices of many characters chime in to tell their stories in their own way, in a heart-rendingly accurate portrayal of grief and growth, merged with a powerful social document of the lives of working-class men and women in the north east of England in the early twentieth century.
From the back jacket
To understand the ‘me’ and ‘I’, I have had to free my memory; free the myths so that the legend, the story, can be told as well as it might after such a long time. My perception of my family history will shape this story. Our story is rooted in how we (along with many others) designed and used landscape: the rustic versus the industrial story. How in that landscape we developed culture and subcultures until landscape and culture were inextricable. My great-grandparents and grandparents worked the land and its mineral content to provide them with a living, and their values shaped their children’s values. Hard work and independence were passed from generation to generation along with a love of the rural and a tolerance of the industrial: canny companions.
Review on Amazon by SP
I found this story both moving and heartwarming. A deeply personal work which shows the complicated yet loving relationship between the members of a close knit family unit. It is clear that the authors childhood was affected by both by the personal impact of her father's early death, but more so the secondary effects which stem from the changes in her mother's behaviour and outlook on life. It is also apparent that local influences (the area where she lived) formed barriers to a more outgoing and fun loving outlook on life. That said, such restrictions were experienced by many working class people in similar circumstances! I am sure many readers will have life experiences which chime with the authors', and this should not deter the casual reader from reading this book as it is highly recommended both as a personal narrative and a graphic description of parochial working class life in the north east.
I found this biography truly moving and inspiring - that so much love can still be evident despite the hurdles and barriers which were placed in it's way.
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