Greenwich Council

Man Booker Prize 2006 shortlist

Edward St Aubyn - Mother's Milk


The Melrose family is in peril. From young Robert, who provides an exceptionally droll account of being born, to Patrick, a hilariously churlish husband who has been sexually abandoned by his wife in favour of motherhood, to Mary, who is consumed both by her children and by an overwhelming desire not to repeat the mistakes of her own mother, St Aubyn uncovers the web of false promises that entangle this once illustrious family.


Edward St. Aubyn was born in 1960 in a part of Cornwall that has been inhabited by the St Aubyns since the Norman conquest. He was raped by his father as a child, abuse which continued until, at the age of eight, he confronted him. At the age of 16, he became a heroin addict and this habit continued at Oxford University. At 28, he contemplated suicide but desperately wanted to write so sought the help of a therapist. In talking through the events in his life, he won a kind of freedom and was able to finally use the material to devastating effect in his fiction.