How Not to Be a Perfect Mother


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About the Author

Libby Purves was a late starter, having her first baby at thirty-two. Previously she practised for motherhood by carrying heavy tape recorders round all day (on BBC Radio Oxford), getting up at 3.30am (as presenter of the Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme), and by refereeing contentious arguments (as chair of BBC TV’s ‘Choices’). Further useful experience was gained as a barmaid, soothing fractious drunks and mopping floors; and as the editor-in-chief – for six exciting months – of the society magazine ‘Tatler’. Armed with all this experience, she set out with the utterly misplaced confidence to have a family of five children; so far, she has managed two, and is beginning to flag a little. Libby Purves has written and edited several books, and writes for a number of newspapers and magazines. Now she lives in Suffolk with her husband, Paul Heiney, her son of eleven and daughter of nine. Once a week, she escapes from home life by travelling to London to present the Radio 4 chat show, ‘Midweek’, in which only two people are ever allowed to talk at once, and nobody’s nose needs wiping. She is also the author of ‘How Not to Raise a Perfect Child, How Not to be a Perfect Family’ and ‘One Summer’s Grace’, in which the family sails a small boat round Britain, but freely admits that they weren’t too perfect at that either.


‘This book is a great antidote to the prevailing tendency to make a science of everything, even the most natural things, like raising children. Libby Purves has faith in people. As you read her book, your faith in yourself comes flooding back.’ Amazon reader, 2002

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