This Is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn

This Is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn

by Aidan Chambers

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Overview


“The masterpiece of one of young-adult literature’s greatest living writers.”—Booklist, starred review

Using a pillow book as her form, nineteen-year-old Cordelia Kenn sets out to write her life for her unborn daughter. What emerges is a portrait of an extraordinary girl who writes frankly of love, sex, poetry, nature, and, most of all, of herself in the world. As she attempts to capture “all” of herself on paper, Cordelia maddens, fascinates, and ultimately seduces the reader in this tour de force from a writer who has helped redefine literature for young adults. A book not to be missed by any serious reader.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810995505
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 05/01/2008
Pages: 832
Sales rank: 884,931
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.50(h) x 2.12(d)
Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author


Aidan Chambers is the author of the highly acclaimed sequence of young adult novels that began with Breaktime and continued through Dance on My Grave, Now I Know, The Toll Bridge, Postcards from No Man’s Land, and This Is All, the last in the sequence. Aidan has won numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the prestigious Hans Christian Anderson Prize for his body of work. He lives in Gloucester, England, with his American wife, Nancy. Visit his Web site at www.aidanchambers.com.

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This Is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
kmaziarz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Challenging, complex, fascinating, and maddening, ¿This Is All¿ is not a book for the faint of heart! Ostensibly consisting of journals of teenager Cordelia Kenn, detailing her life from early adolescence up to the age of 19, the book actually serves as a complete, multilayered, and intricate portrait of Cordelia¿s heart, mind, and soul, as well as containing detailed portrayals of her father, aunt, boyfriend Will, best friend, and mentor.Cordelia is pregnant at the time she begins her narration, and intends the pillow books¿a form of all-consuming journaling inspired by the tenth-century Japanese Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon¿to be a gift for her daughter on her 16th birthday. Cordelia is a thoughtful young woman with a lively intellect, and she fills her books not only with a narrative of her life, but with poetry, thoughts, and mini-essays on topics near and dear to her heart. The intended book becomes six books as she compulsively records the distillation of her own existence and is unstintingly frank in her discussions of her young-love relationship with Will and their early experimentations with sex, her physical affair with a much older man, her fractured family, the strong mentor-protégé relationship she develops with her high school English teacher, and her kidnapping and attempted rape by an acquaintance.Immensely long, dense, and employing a variety of narrative techniques, ¿This Is All¿ is not for everyone. But the patient and adventurous, those willing to dive completely into Cordelia Kenn¿s life and mind, will find much to reward their efforts.
lucylu999 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I stumbled upon this book in the local library, and can honestly say it altered my life.The story is set into a series of "Pillow Books" inspired by the japanese tradition of notebook formatting. Each pillow book represents a different chapter of the narrator's life, and has been written for Cordelia's unborn child.This book appealed to me, not just through the enchanting plot but the sheer range of emotions that I felt as a reader following the life of this young girl....You cannot help but to feel an attachment to Cordelia.I admit it suprised me that the author was male, due to such attention to detail and accuracy of female experience and emotion.It is clear the author took a great deal of effort and work into producing this excellent masterpiece and it certainly payed off.I wish everyone had a chance to read this incredibly moving novel.ThanksLucy
QueenAlyss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book! I'm 15, and I agree that it is not for the average teenager due to the seriousness of the topics and the ability to grasp the concepts (no, not the subjects themselves) ... plus, it may be a bore to many, what with it being so long. But it is a great novel and is definitly a thinker book. I recommend it to anyone with nerve to read a long book and anyone who is able to appreciate such topics; which, are just about everything!!
booksandwine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To know Cordelia Kenn is to love Cordelia Kenn.I thought this book provided an excellent, albeit, long distration for life. The plot was fairly decent and it was nice to reminicse about high school for awhile. However, parts of the book were rather tedious, such as when Cordelia writes an essay for the reader on the difference between poetry and prose. Perhaps with some fine tuning this could have been a five star book, but alas it is good diversion reading if you have a soft spot for YA literature about British girls and boys who are a tiny bit extraordinary intellectually.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book of my life. I actually have 2 copies because I reread it so much. The characters are so real and relatable. This is a must read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the way this book was written where it was a collection of her diary like entries and poems and how it all came together to describe the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I normally don't cry while reading books. I think one of the few times I did cry was when Sirius died in Harry Potter. This book made me cry. I relate to Cordelia so much. She reminded me so much of myself that the ending made me cry all the more. I found it hard to believe that this book, about a teenage girl, was written by a man. Chamber's in depth view of the teenage girl's psyche was amazing. Cordelia is very real and what she thinks, feels, sees and does are very real as well. This book will probably be a favorite of mine for a long time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i adored this book. it really makes you think. cordelia is the most real character i have ever read. she truly comes off the page. i felt like she was someone i saw everyday and had known my whole life, i even had dreams about her. this book really encompasses everything it means to grow up. cordelia's growth is so natural and organic, you really grow along with her. this is a book about what it means to be a woman, what it means to be in love, but most of all what it means to be human. i highly recommend this book for it's beautiful depth and clarity.
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MaryReade More than 1 year ago
I am not an openly emotional person. Books, movies, songs... they don't make me cry. This book did. I bawled my eyes out. After I got this book, I read it nonstop. It was my constant companion. I'd carry it around with me and bump into things, but I kept reading. I loved almost every word of it. It was funny, frustrating, amazing, uplifting, and heartbreaking, all in one. This is one of the best books I have ever read. <3
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Omg!!! This is an absolutely amazing book. If you are currently reading it and bored to death, don't get discouraged, you can't truely love it until you finish it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have only cried from 2 books in my life. Those 2 books I have never connected to like I did this one. I felt like this girl, was apart of me. The way it was written was so, expressive, so intriguing that I could NOT put it down. The beginning was slow, but i read on knowing it would be a good book. What I didn't expect was loving a book to death.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!!! My teenage daughter asked me to read this book and I can say it has changed life in many ways!!! Definately spiritually awesome and realistic. Thank You Aidan Chambers for bringing my daughter and I even closer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is absolutely my favorite book! Cordelia is a deep person who really understands the world and writes amazing poems. Her love for Will is very personal. She describes the world around her and what her view on it is. I would recomend it to people 14 and up because it is very descriptive. Read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i couldn't believe how easily i related to cordelia, especially when i found out the author's relatively old and a man! i loved her poetry, and she had some really great philosophical musings. just one thing... towards the middle, there's a confusing part where the book splits. i read the a part first then the b part, and it made it easier.