Guts, Grit, Spine, Heart, Balls, VerveBook - 2007
'People care desperately about courage. For once, I am one of the people. Do you want to know what it means to care desperately? It means that I am prepared to give up dignity, talent and generosity for the attribute of courage. When I fantasise about what people will say after my death, I know what I want them to recall--whatever her flaws (too numerous to mention), she certainly had guts. Yet the courage I conjure up in my fantasies exists outside of the extremes of violence, endurance and fear. It is not primarily a virtuous ideal or an idea, but rather an expression of the human spirit-messy, explosive and morally ambivalent.'
Maria Tumarkin's view of courage contains no dead military heroes. Young, female, an immigrant from the crumbling Soviet states, she mines her own remarkable life story to produce a meditation on the courage we need to live our everyday lives. A hybrid of memoir and philosophy, of experience and ideas, Courage is a hugely entertaining and provocative read from a writer of startling talent.