Autobiography

Finding My Voice: A Memoir


In October 2019 Valerie Mendes will turn eighty. It is a grand milestone and, amid the rough and tumble of the high-tech modern world, an achievement in its own right. Here for the first time she steps away from her fiction to describe some of the most important people, places, things and ideas, that have shaped her own life.

Valerie has had a long and distinguished career in many different roles. She began by writing for the BBC and then became a journalist. She moved into book publishing with Oxford University Press, where she was drawn into the world of English Language Teaching and writing for children. She is the mother of the theatre and film director Sam Mendes, and watches his work with pride.

During her career Valerie experienced life from many different aspects of publishing, as an editor, publisher, teacher, freelance consultant, project manager and author. She has written a host of reports, short stories, features, articles and poems. She has published two picture books, five novels for young adults and two historical novels for the adult marketplace. Orion have just reprinted Larkswood, for the tenth time.

Valerie describes her memoir as being like a necklace of beads, each one marked by its honesty, freshness, energy and humour. They include sharp, tangy memories of her childhood and school days; a talk for the Edinburgh Festival; a poignant short story; going to Hollywood for the Oscars; and how she has grown through the high-tech revolution as both a pioneer and a champion of the rights of women to be fairly seen, justifiably heard and correctly recognised.

Valerie’s unique story will captivate, engross and inspire.