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The Year of the Cat

On sale

22nd June 2023

Price: £10.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472290748

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‘A brave process of healing and self reconstruction’ Observer

‘Simply one of the best writers working today. Here’s to family, to glamour, and to love’ Nell Frizzell, author of The Panic Years

I looked around at my flat, at the woodchip wallpaper and scuffed furniture, and realised that I did have a life after all. What it didn’t have in it was a cat.

When Rhiannon fell in love with, and eventually married her flatmate, she imagined they might one day move on. But this is London in the age of generation rent, and so they share their home with a succession of friends and strangers while saving for a life less makeshift. The desire for a baby is never far from the surface, but can she be sure that she will ever be free of the anxiety she has experienced since an attack in the street one night? And after a childhood spent caring for her autistic brother does she really want to devote herself to motherhood?

Moving through the seasons over the course of lockdown, The Year of the Cat nimbly charts the way a kitten called Mackerel walked into Rhiannon’s home and heart, and taught her to face down her fears and appreciate quite how much love she had to offer.

‘A superbly written, special book’ Olivia Sudjic, author of Asylum Road

‘Beautifully captures that liminal period before any life-changing decision’ New Statesman


Emma Forrest, author of Busy Being Free
The most beautiful paragraphs in The Year of the Cat remind me what a rare gift Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett possesses: expansive compassion, empathy and warmth, but a scalpel precision with words. Memories are conjured so headily it feels, to the reader, less like reading than experiencing déjà vu
Olivia Sudjic, author of Asylum Road
A nuanced calibration of care, desire, trauma and anxiety that made me feel so energised. A superbly written, special book
Nell Frizzell, author of The Panic Years
Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett is simply one of the best writers working today. She conjures a heady, terrifying time in beautiful detail. Here's to family, to glamour, and to love
Nick Bradley, author of The Cat and the City
Such a moving, unique and elegant book, examining mental health, motherhood, creativity, love, life, youth, femininity, family and friendship. But above all, Cosslett takes her place in a long history of genius writers in the meowmoir genre by celebrating her strong bond with a true hero -- Mackerel the cat. I loved this book, and if you have a heart, you will, too.
Jessica Cornwell, author of Birth Notes
The Year of the Cat is a tender and wise meditation on trauma and the fragmentation of memory. Weaving together a history of women and their feline companions, Cosslett charts the emergence of a lasting love, while grappling with deeper anxieties: what it means to be a carer, and a mother, in precarious times. With her signature wit and radiant prose, Cosslett has produced a remarkable work, one that speaks for her generation
Lucia Osborne-Crowley, author of I Choose Elena
I feel like I have been waiting my whole life for this brilliant book, alive with Rhiannon's characteristic blend of gorgeous prose, razor-sharp analysis and enormous amounts of empathy and honesty. You'll come back to it again and again, as I have
New Statesman
What Cosslett so beautifully captures is that liminal period before any life-changing decision, when anguished uncertainty morphs into sudden resolve.
'I Newspaper
Acutely evocative... Ripples with those rare nuggets of wisdom that feel as though their author has reached into your head and pulled out something you have been on the verge of saying all your life.
Sharp and accurate...a brave process of healing and self reconstruction
Admirable and affecting
Red Online
A meditative read on what it means not just to be a mother, but a human being just trying to navigate all that life throws at us
Rebecca Watson
I loved it. Such a strong, nuanced book; Rhiannon's writing is as sharp as her thinking. It's funny, human, rich with thought and care
Chloe Ashby, Times Literary Supplement
At once thoughtful and thought-provoking. There are more and more books on the experiences of motherhood, but few make room for what Cosslett describes as 'not motherhood, or almost motherhood'... Here she is changing the game, finding a new way of writing it