HEAVEN’S RAGE is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie Tate explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life.
‘Leslie Tate’s memoir is by turns an elegy for a lost childhood, a tribute to the power of literature and a demand for the right to identity in a world that turns too easily on those who differ from the conventional.
There is a raw candour to his struggles with alcohol and coming out as transgender, but there is no self-pity here, more a gesture of companionship amid life’s twisting fortunes. Just as it is the characters who bring a story to life, so he reminds us that our lives are enriched by the characterful and the curious.
Light-footed poems stud the prose like gemstones, and these shifts of gear reflect the truth that we host not an internal monologue but a dialogue of multi-faceted voices. Leslie Tate’s joyful embrace of the gamut of linguistic possibilities is the culmination of a quest for the right to write his own story, both figuratively and now on the page.’ Jonathan Ruppin, Literary Director Orson and Co. Founder, PEN Book Club. English PEN Writers in Translation Committee. Judge for the Costa Novel Award, the Guardian First Book Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize.
A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage