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Book cover of Arrangements in Blue

Arrangements in Blue

Notes on Love and Making a Life

Key, Amy


Staff Pick, Life Events (by Flora)

Joni Mitchell's album Blue has accompanied poet, Amy Key, throughout her adult life. And while Blue has been a constant companion, romantic love - which inspired so much of Blue - has eluded the author. In this remarkably honest and original memoir, Key revisits each of the songs on Blue, as well as various moments in her life when she has explored her deep desire for romantic love. Beautifully written, bravely open, this memoir is an extraordinary record of vulnerability and humanity, which questions why society prizes romantic love so highly.

Is it possible life without romantic love isn't so bad?

An essential memoir about building life on your own terms

'Marks an important shift in ideas about intimacy' OBSERVER
'The harbinger of real talent' SUNDAY TIMES
'A tender, subversive study of love' NEW STATESMAN

When poet Amy Key was growing up, she looked forward to a life shaped by romance, fuelled by desire, longing and the conventional markers of success that come when you share a life with another person. But that didn't happen for her. Now in her forties, she sets out to explore the realities of a life lived in the absence of romantic love.

Using Joni Mitchell's seminal album Blue - which shaped Key's expectations of love - as an anchor, Arrangements in Blue elegantly honours a life lived completely by, and for, oneself. Building a home, travelling alone, choosing whether to be a mother, recognising her own milestones, learning the limits of self-care and the expansive potential of self-friendship, Key uncovers the many forms of connection and care that often go unnoticed.

With profound candour and intimacy, Arrangements in Blue explores the painful feelings we are usually too ashamed to discuss: loneliness, envy, grief and failure. The result is a book which inspires us to live and love more honestly.


'It broke and mended my heart simultaneously'

'Stunning, honest, touching'

'An astonishing work, brilliantly written'

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Binding: Hardback
Publication date: 06 Apr 2023
Dimensions: 233 x 143 x 21 mm
ISBN: 9781787333895

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