My Life In Orange

Tim Guest

Published: 20 January 2005
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 320 pages
ISBN: 9781862077201


Imagine growing up with 200 mothers and 200 fathers. What would it feel like to dress entirely in orange? What would it be like to grow up in a commune with daily chants, meditation and muesli on the menu? What would it be like to swap your mother for a new orange family? Written in unsentimental prose this is the deliciously funny, and by turns, poignant story of a little boy alone in a house full of orange people.

About the author

Image of Tim Guest

Tim Guest was a journalist and wrote for the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph among others. He was the author of two books, Second Lives and My Life in Orange, published by Granta Books, an account of his early life in a commune in Suffolk. He lived in London until his death in 2009. More about the author


‘Guest's account of his 'life in orange' is a sad, brave tale of breathtaking parental irresponsibility, naked encounter groups and corruption on a mass scale. Weirdly gripping’



‘It is funny, gently ironic, closely observed , poignant and moving. Guest makes an astonishingly mature debut and has the rare ability to describe childhood as a small child lives it; accepting, helpless, curious. He grinds no axes, but makes his experience excellent grist to the mill. From his Life in Orange a very good writer has emerged. More will come, in whatever shade’

‘It is the visceral detail of his own memories that brings the narrative alive and which, at times, brings tears to the eyes’

‘Sad, acute and remarkably forgiving memoir’

‘The self-pity is kept to a minimum, while the personal insight registers on the high scale. The clarity with which Guest recalls periods such as his time in Pune makes this a valid document of a remarkable experience, and there's enough vivid remembrances of things which are common to any childhood to give it universal appeal’

‘This calm, meditative, and even lyrical memoir is a testament to his recovery. Impressively, he is able to convey the spiritual longings and the political aspirations that impelled his mother and many other adults to risk so much for a quest for enlightenment’

‘Tim's Guest extraordinary account of his childhood in the communes of Bhagwan, the notorious Indian guru, is a survivor's tale, poignant, funny and wise’

‘What makes Guest's memoir especially poignant is its sense of a child having to watch over his own mother. Guest writes both touchingly and intriguing read’

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