Larger than an Orange

Larger than an Orange



'Raw, tender and urgent' Jessica Andrews, author of Saltwater

'Irreducible. Once read, it will never be forgotten' Helen Mort, author of Division Street

This is the story of an abortion.

The days and hours before the first visit to the clinic and the weeks and months after.

The pregnancy was a mistake and the narrator immediately arranges a termination. But a gulf yawns between politics and personal experience. The polarised public debate and the broader cultural silence did not prepare her for the physical event or the emotional aftermath. She finds herself compulsively telling people about the abortion (and counting those who know), struggling at work and researching the procedure. She feels alone in her pain and confusion.

Part diary, part prose poem, part literary collage, Larger than an Orange is an uncompromising, intimate and original memoir. With raw precision and determined honesty, Lucy Burns carves out a new space for complexity, ambivalence and individual experience.

'Lucy Burns' writing on choice and its aftermath is boldly innovative, achingly human, and powerfully vulnerable' Dr Elinor Cleghorn, author of Unwell Women

'Rapturous, engrossing and beautifully impossible' Holly Pester, author of Comic Timing


  • A visceral account of an abortion that is praiseworthy not only for the conversations it will spark, but for its beautiful prose, emotional intensity and unabashed complexity... although there is no happy ending, the book's very existence is hopeful. The point is to start a conversation - and Larger Than an Orange will certainly do that
    Laura Hackett, Sunday Times

About the author

Lucy Burns

Lucy Burns was born in 1991 and lives in Manchester, where she received her PhD on the history of Black Mountain College. Her reviews and essays have appeared in PN Review, Hotel, and elsewhere. She currently works as an assistant editor. Larger than an Orange is her first book.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more