You Could Make This Place Beautiful

Maggie Smith

It’s a kind of reincarnation without death: all these different lives we get to live in this one body, as ourselves.
You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith (Hardback ISBN 9781805302421) book cover

Available as Hardback, eBook, Downloadable audio

Award-winning poet and author Maggie Smith offers a lush, heartrending and instant bestselling memoir exploring coming of age in your middle age

‘Life, like a poem, is a series of choices’

In her long-awaited debut memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful, award-winning poet Maggie Smith explores in lyrical vignettes the end of her marriage and the beginning of a surprising new life. With the spirit of reflection and empathy she’s known for, Smith interweaves snapshots of a life with meditations on secrets, anger, forgiveness and narrative itself.

It is a story about a mother’s fierce and constant love for her children, and a woman’s love and regard for herself. Above all, this memoir is an argument for possibility. Smith reveals how, in the aftermath of loss, we can discover our power and make something new. Something beautiful.

“This book is extraordinary”
Ann Patchett

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“I am in awe of Maggie Smith’s memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful, for what she is willing to show us. Yes, the writing is keen and gorgeous, and yes, she tells us a hundred truths in every chapter, but most of all she allows us to witness a self crumbling, scattering and renewing … [A] generous, beautiful book”
Katherine May

“This is a memoir of a woman who recommits to herself after heartbreak, but it’s also a meditation on patriarchal power dynamics, a mother’s love for her children and what that means in today’s world and how to bet on yourself, even and especially when we’re told not to. A balm for the soul and a rallying cry for the heart.”
good Housekeeping

“A composite of creativity, motherhood and determination”
new York Times

“Rich in nuance and unrelenting in its honesty, Smith’s memoir is a bittersweet study in both grief and joy”

Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books of poetry and prose, including You Could Make This Place Beautiful, Good Bones, Goldenrod, Lamp of the Body, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison and Keep Moving. Her newest book is My Thoughts Have Wings, her debut picture book for children, illustrated by Leanne Hatch. Smith’s poems and essays have appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Paris Review, TIME, Nation, Atlantic and Best American Poetry.

@MaggieSmithPoet |