Cover image for Under the duvet
Under the duvet
Keyes, Marian.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Leicester, UK : Clipper Audio ; Prince Frederick, MD : Distributed by Recorded Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
6 audio discs (approximately 6.5 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:

Compact discs.
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR6061.E88 U53 2002 Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

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Under the Duvet

Author Notes

Marian Keyes was born in the West of Ireland on September 10, 1963. She was brought up in Dublin, and then she spent her twenties in London. She earned her law degree from Dublin University and then travelled to London where she worked in an administrative job in an accounts office. Keyes developed a drinking problem, and after a failed suicide attempt, entered a rehabilitation program.

Keyes began writing short stories four months before she stopped drinking, in 1993, and when she left rehab, she sent them to a publisher. Included with her stories was a letter saying that she had also begun a novel, which she hadn't. The publisher liked the short stories so much that they wrote back and asked for the novel, and Keyes wrote the first four chapters of her novel Watermelon in a week, and was offered a three-book contract. Watermelon was published in 1995.

Keyes gave up her job in 1996 to become a full time writer. Her books are published in 35 countries worldwide and have been translated into several different languages, such as Hebrew and Japanese. In 2009, She won the Irish Book Award for her fiction novel, This Charming Man.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Best-selling Irish author Keyes is known for her sassy, warmhearted women's fiction ( Sushi for Beginners BKL Je 1 & 15 03; Angels My 15 02). She is also a journalist, and this collection of 47 nonfiction pieces, most of which have been published previously in magazines and newspapers, sports her trademark irreverent spin on issues close to a woman's heart. The short articles are grouped into seven sections dealing with the writing life, personal possessions, friends and family, acting like an adult, holidays, Irishness, and travel abroad. Topics include women's obsession with shoes, the fitting-into-the-wedding-dress diet, buying a house, and Botox and other miracles. She is especially funny on the topic of marriage--after her husband requests her assistance in finding his cuff links at 7 a.m., she chants, The womb is not a locating device. She is serious in spots, as when she discusses her alcoholism, and some of the pieces seem dated (most are from the late '90s). Still, her fans will want to get an up-close look at this wildly popular author. --Joanne Wilkinson Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In lesser hands, a collection of personal essays such as these might read like a self-indulgent exercise in tedium. Happily, Irish novelist Keyes (Angels; Sushi for Beginners) doesn't take herself too seriously, and her essays, many of which were previously published in magazines, manage to strike the right balance of true-to-life observations, confessions and pointed humor. As the title suggests, her topics run the gamut: friends and family, her work, her shoe obsession. She also offers wry observations on the different cultures she's encountered on her book tours. In L.A., for example, she describes dining at a restaurant where the waiter, "a firm-jawed, orange plastic type," recited the day's specials-all fat- and lactose-free, of course. When her friend ordered a steak, "there was an appalled intake of breath. Red Meat!" Keyes' essay on her recovery from alcoholism avoids the pitfalls of sappiness or self-congratulation; dodging overly "poetic" embellishments, she just tells it like it is. At her lowest point, she recounts her suicide attempt: "Hardly believing what I was doing, I swallowed every pill I could find and waited to die. But as I drifted into unconsciousness, I had a moment of clarity ... maybe I could live without alcohol." But most of the essays never touch such depressing topics. In fact, Keyes' unexpected, hilarious one-liners liberally fill out her essays, such as her description of the ordeal of house hunting. Shocked at how young her real estate agent appears, Keyes tells her husband, "I'm not buying a house from someone whose balls haven't dropped yet." Her fiction fans will delight in this comic look at the author's life. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Read these essays in any order you please, encourages Irish novelist Keyes (Sushi for Beginners) in her introduction to this entertaining collection of essays addressing a variety of topics, such as moving to a new country, getting married, sustaining long-term friendships, experiencing childbirth, buying a new home, dealing with sluggish contractors, celebrating the New Year, and living in London. Other subjects include the author's travels to places like Los Angeles, Prague, Greece, and Vietnam. Organized into seven categories, the pieces are culled primarily from magazine and newspaper publications, but a few have not been published previously. Keyes takes on her subjects with humor and candor and often provides useful introductory comments to establish background. The strongest piece is the one on Keyes's struggle with alcoholism. Its raw and honest tone alone makes the book worth a purchase. Highly recommended for all public libraries and larger academic libraries.-Erica Swenson Danowitz, American Univ. Lib., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Under the Duvet Chapter One Paperback Writher When people ask me what I do for a crust and I tell them that I'm a novelist, they immediately assume that my life is a nonstop carousel of limos, television appearances, hairdos, devoted fans, stalkers and all the glitzy paraphernalia of being a public figure. It's time to set the record straight. I write alone, in a darkened bedroom, wearing my pj's, eating bananas, my laptop on a pillow in front of me. Occasionally -- it usually coincides with promoting a book -- I am led, blinking, into the daylight, and when I try to talk to people, discover that I'm not able to, that I've become completely desocialized. And as for being mobbed by adoring fans -- I'm never recognized. Once I thought I was, but I was mistaken. I was in a shoe shop (where else?), and when I asked one of the girls if she had any of these sixteen shoes in my size, she looked at me, put her hand on her chest and gave a little gasp. "It's you!" she declared. It is, I thought, thrilled to the marrow. It is me -- I'm famous! "Yes," the girl continued. "You were in the pub last night, you were the one singing, weren't you?" I was so disappointed I could hardly speak. I'd been nowhere near any pub the night before. "You've a great voice," she said. "Now what size do you want these shoes in?" Even the day a book comes out isn't as life-altering as I'd once anticipated. The morning my first book, Watermelon , was officially published in England, where I lived at the time, I half-expected that people in the street would look at me differently as I went to work. That they'd nudge each other and mutter, "See her, that's that Marian Keyes, she's written a book." And that the bus conductor might let me off my fare. ("You're OK there, Writer Girl, this one's on me.") But, naturally, no one paid me the slightest attention. At lunchtime I rushed to the nearest bookshop, my heart aflutter, as I expected to see my beloved creation in a massive display. Instead I found the latest John Grisham piled high where my book should have been . I looked for a smaller display of my book. None to be seen. Mortified, I went to the shelf and searched alphabetically. And found it wasn't there. So I went to the counter and got the girl to look it up on the computer. "Oh, that," she said, eyeing the screen. "We're not getting any in." "I can order you a copy, though," she called after me, as I slunk away to shoot myself. For a couple of weeks afterward, whenever my boss left the office I grabbed the phone and systematically rang every bookshop in London, pretending to be a customer, asking if they stocked Watermelon . And if they hadn't got it, I rang again a few days later, hoping they'd changed their minds. In the end, I'm sure they recognized my voice. I imagined them putting their hands over the mouthpiece and shouting, "It's that Keyes one again. Have we got her bloody book in yet?" As well as expecting glitz and glamour, I used to think that an integral part of being a writer was lying around on a couch, eating chocolate raisins, waiting for the muse to strike. And that if the muse hadn't struck, I might as well be watching Jerry Springer while I was waiting. So it came as a nasty shock to discover that if I was waiting for the muse to come a-calling, it would take several decades to write a book. So now, muse or no muse, I work eight hours a day, Monday to Friday, just like I did when I was an accounts clerk. The main difference is that I work in bed. Not because I am a lazy lump (OK, not just because I'm a lazy lump), but just because the idea of sitting at a desk daunts me and, frankly, I'm daunted enough. So the bed it is and it's worked out nicely so far, especially since I started turning myself regularly to avoid bedsores. Most days I start work at about eight o'clock -- kicking the day off with a good dose of terror. Today is the day, I usually think, when I run out of ideas, when the inspiration packs its bags and goes to find another accounts clerk and transforms their life. People often ask me where I get my ideas from and, God, I wish I knew. All I can say is that I find people fascinating, and seeing as I write about emotional landscapes, this can only be a good thing. I think that on a subconscious level I'm taking in information constantly, and in case I come across extraspecially interesting people or funny sayings, I carry a notebook with me at all times. Well, actually I don't. I'm supposed to, and when I give advice to aspiring writers that's always what I tell them to do. But somehow when I forage around amongst the sweet papers and lip glosses in my handbag the notebook is never there. So my "office" (i.e., the floor on my side of the bed) is littered with bus tickets and pastille wrappers with little notes to myself scribbled on them. Another question that I'm often asked is if there's any downside to being a writer. Three words: the crippling insecurity. In my old job, I worked in accounts. It may not have been the most exciting job in the universe, but it was very reassuring. If it balanced I knew I was right -- it was as simple as that. But with writing, there's no right or wrong ... Under the Duvet . Copyright © by Marian Keyes. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Under the Duvet: Shoes, Reviews, Having the Blues, Builders, Babies, Families and Other Calamities by Marian Keyes All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.