Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
The Fear by Christiana Spens
Add The Fear to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

The Fear

Best Seller
The Fear by Christiana Spens
Paperback $16.95
Mar 14, 2023 | ISBN 9781914420450

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Mar 14, 2023 | ISBN 9781914420450

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Mar 14, 2023 | ISBN 9781914420535

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


“Made up of equal parts pain, intimacy, desolation and tenderness, The Fear extracts beauty and meaning from a reckoning with great private darkness.” – Rob Doyle, author of Threshold

The Fear considers how trauma manifests in ways that seem too powerful to tolerate and how it can seem that emotion could be traded or outran by another equally strong emotion, like love. A brilliant look at the maze of personal history and how the wounds we carry will continue to make their journey through us, one way or another.” – Jenni Fagan, author of Luckenbooth and The Panopticon

The Fear is an astonishing book. Spens manages to weave a hybrid tapestry, in which we move fluidly between memoir, philosophy, art and politics. The result is a book that takes us to the edge, lets us look into the abyss, makes us confront a myriad array of fears and their consequences. It is a bold, beautiful and brave book; in it’s form, in the lyricism of its style and in the intensity of its interrogations. At the level of intellectual curiosity, psychological honesty and political urgency it is a text of staggering depth and variety. Spens writes a text that will speak to us all, to the fears that sit heavy on our chests. The result, rather surprisingly, is a book that makes us feel a little less alone, that seems to lift the fear a little, to let us breath fresh air.” – Tom de Freston, author of Wreck

The Fear is a hybrid memoir and cultural study, which uses the personal to reach into the depths of the psychology of fear. Artist and writer Christiana Spens explores how fear impacts our lives – from the personal to the political, through gender politics to terrorism – reffering to images, art, films, philosophy and more. The memoir aspect is written with intellectual detachment creating almost a fable of fear, that space ‘between fear and anxiety’ — at once a psychological study and an intimate portrayal of a woman making sense of the world. It is a finely tuned, fascinating interrogation of an emotion that hijacks us all. Both intimate and psychologically rigorous, The Fear pushes the bounds of memoir into intellectual territory.” – Lily Dunn, author of Sins of My Father: A Daughter, A Cult, A Wild Unravelling

“Intellectually vivifying and deeply moving, The Fear is a dazzling memoir that dances between the cerebral and the tender.” – Sam Mills, author of The Fragments of my Father

“Spens writes beautifully about self-government… the writing is so wonderfully strong about fragility… Read and heal. Never heel to another, mind you.”— Kirsty Allison, Ambit Magazine

“Spens writes herself back to life – and it is a joy to behold.” – Andrew Gallix, The Irish Times

“A powerfully affecting tale of devastation and survival.” – Matt Rowland Hill, The Spectator

“For such a cerebral book, it is also tender and humane; Spens counterbalances her intellectual considerations with moments of stark honesty, and it is touching to see her find inner calm toward the end of the book. It is also a testament to her talent that, although she is dealing with heavy subjects, the reader feels lighter for having taken the journey with her. The Fear deserves a wide readership.” – Joshua Rees, Buzzmag

“An Irish Times - Best Books to Read in 2023”

“Combining philosophical study and personal experience, The Fear leads you through the shadows, pointing out some particularly murky points along the way then provides you with a light to make it through to the other side. [Spens’] experiences are woven with critical, philosophical study, self-reflections and the contemplation of art and politics to ultimately deliver a message of love… As a personal memoir, it spoke to me with a message of hope and a lasting reminder that we’re never alone.” – LoveReading

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Christiana Spens
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking “SIGN UP”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top