How do you become a writer, and why? Maggie Gee's journey starts a long way from the literary world in a small family in post-war Britain,. At seventeen, Maggie goes, a lamb to the slaughter, to university. From the 1960s onwards she lives the defining events of her generation: the coming of the Pill and sexual freedom, tremors in the British layer-cake of class and race. In the 1980s, Maggie finally gets published, falls in love, marries and has a daughter - but for the next three decades and beyond, she survives, and sometimes thrives, by writing. This frank, bold memoir dares to explore the big questions: success and failure, sex, death and parenthood - our animal life.