Face2Face launches ‘girl on the edge’ by Ruth Carneson

Sex, politics, drugs, and rock & roll. All this and more is described by “struggle child” Ruth Carneson in her moving memoir girl on the edge, published by Face2Face, an imprint of Cover2Cover Books in Cape Town.

Carneson is the daughter of Fred and Sarah Carneson, who were prominent South African Communist Party activists. Her parents were in and out of prison, and the family lived in constant fear of the Special Branch.

Hers is a story of isolation, dislocation and fear. It offers a perspective of a child born to parents who were involved in the struggle against apartheid, and the impossibility of ever having a normal upbringing. Ruth was 14 years old when she was sent to England, clutching her teddy in one hand and her drawings in the other. This journey carried her into exile, a new world where she struggled to build her identity.

With an artist’s eye for detail and colour, Carneson recalls her life with unflinching honesty: the Treason Trial; her struggle to conform; the Friern Barnet Asylum for the “hopelessly insane”; her experiences with LSD, protests and free love in London; art school and motherhood; communes and campaigning – all steps in a journey that finally brought her home to a South Africa on the brink of change.

“Heart-wrenchingly sad one moment, bursting with life and vigour the next, seamed throughout by strength and courage, girl on the edge allows us to look deep into one woman’s life and travel with her to the brink and back again,” says Face2Face.

The book is available at major bookstores across the country and retails at R190.

For more information contact Palesa Morudu on 021 709 0128 or info@cover2cover.co.za