*A 'BOOKS OF 2021' PICK IN THE GUARDIAN, DAILY MAIL, DAILY TELEGRAPH, IRISH TIMES CULTURE AND NEW STATESMAN*
'We read in order to come to life.'
With fierce imagination, a woman revisits the moments that shape her life; from crushes on teachers to navigating relationships in a fast-paced world; from overhearing her grandmothers' peculiar stories to nurturing her own personal freedom and a boundless love of literature.
Fusing fantasy with lived experience, Checkout 19 is a vivid and mesmerising journey through the small traumas and triumphs that define us - as readers, as writers, as human beings.
Checkout 19 beautifully explores the makings of a young woman writer.
Mesmerising, whip-smart, full of genius and utterly singular, Checkout 19 is one of the most beautiful and political books I've read. Put simply, it's all about books. Bennett is a master at sweeping the caverns of life's minutiae with her uncanny observations and stunning prose, arriving at the most pressing things that haunt the human condition. It is also very funny (and very sad) and very very relatable. Just exquisite.
Checkout 19 is a beautiful, hurt, unsettled, funny, and moving book about meaning and reading and recalling, but most of all about coming to life.
Reading Checkout 19 is not unlike coming back to life after a long and brutal winter. Highly original and deeply felt. I'm so glad Claire-Louise Bennett exists. A writer to fall in love with.