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A Big Year in a Small Town


320 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $13.95 (US $13.95)

Publication Date: June 2004

ISBN 9780091896713

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (Jun 2004)
Ebury Press

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1979 takes place in a small fishing town called Musselburgh, situated on the east coast of Scotland. It's about a young girl who is very naive yet incredibly self-aware in the year that changed her life forever—an evocative, moving, and at times hilarious true-life story about growing up gay in a small town, finding out you're adopted, and losing your father at the age of 14. Always an outsider, the Rhona of 1979 was desperate to fit in at any cost, and here lies the bittersweet humor. At the heart of the book is the Clubhouse, a place that symbolizes all that is normal, happy, and secure. Sons with their fathers; 15 year-old boys with their girlfriends for their first underage drink. Wives with their husbands for the Christmas disco. And behind the club, outside, Rhona and her friends are smoking, fighting, kissing, and drinking. In this darkly funny and deeply biographical first book, Rhona Cameron takes us back to a year when everything seemed to change. A new British government came to power, the 1980s were approaching, and at times life felt so precarious that it really looked like she and her family might never make it through the next year, let alone the next decade.


"Funny, painful, sad and true, this wistful teenage testimony isn't just a memoir of a particular time and place, it's also a universal elegy about how it really feels to be a young outsider of any and every sort."  —The Guardian

"A candid, open-hearted memoir . . . startling."  —The Observer

"Eccentric, feisty and very funny."  —The Guardian

"Wickedly amusing."  —The Times

Author Biography

Rhona Cameron is a comedian and the author of The Naked Drinking Club.