I Had It In Me, by Leonie Orton

I Had It In Me is a memoir with a double-entendre of a title worthy of Joe Orton – except it’s by Orton’s youngest sister Leonie Orton, and as you might guess, it has something of a feminist slant. I nearly switched my dissertation topic last minute to focus on Leonie Orton as a kind of Shakespeare’s sister – the youngest of the four Orton children and the one who was given the fewest resources, she’s a case study of a sidelined talent – except she wasn’t sidelined, as this book proves, but only by pure bloody grit. Leonie used her share of the Orton estate to finish her O and A levels, go to University, travel the world, and become a really good art critic, as well as the caretaker, literal and intellectual, of her brother’s career. Now, finally, she’s putting her own words down on paper, not just this memoir but in a series of short stories that I hope will soon see print. Highly recommended to anyone who likes a sharp, funny, intellectual working class female voice–(me, me!) Leonie totally had it in her, even as the world tried to stop her.

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