The Trick is to Keep Breathing

By Janice Galloway

Synopsis

A young drama teacher in the West of Scotland suffers deep psychological problems which affect all areas of her life. She fails to find meaning in anything around her, but in her search she strips situations of their conventional values and sees them in a sharp, new light.

Year of Publication

Review

The ironically named Joy Stone is a schoolteacher attempting to fend off depression in Galloway’s startling debut novel. She is assailed by grief, bolstered and bruised by alcohol. Using typographical innovations, parodies of women’s magazines and finely-grained observation, the novel presents a searing portrait of a mind in crisis and offers the possibility of hope in its darkest moments. -- Stuart Kelly