Liberating ideas

Pure and OCD – A Letter from the Editor

On publication of Pure by Rose Bretécher 

Every publisher sets out to do two things: to find stories that change the way we think and to make books that will be read for years to come. It’s rare to do both simultaneously, but Pure does just that.

In a way, it’s a miracle that the book exists at all. A writer tells a story from within his or her consciousness, giving shape to experiences or creating new ones. In Rose’s case, it was consciousness itself that was under attack, constantly undermined by intrusive sexual thoughts of shocking and humiliating intensity. And yet, somehow, over ten long years, she found her way out of the labyrinth and was able to tell her remarkable story.

And, here again, Pure is special. Millions of people suffer from OCD and other mental illnesses. Very few find ways of writing about it and almost none do so with the wit and the brilliance of Rose Bretécher. Her condition makes Pure an important book. But it’s her skill as a writer that makes it a great one: Pure is a rich and terrifying roller-coaster ride through the weird and mysterious workings of her mind. But by the end you are not only cheering her on, your sense of your own consciousness is extended and enriched. You look at yourself and other people differently, and with more compassion. As she writes, ‘happiness is staring down the insurmountable fragility of life and daring to acknowledge the certainty that everything which makes us who we are could, at any second, and without warning, be obliterated in the beat of a hummingbird’s wing.’

From Homer onwards, human beings have lived, loved and made great art inspired by that self-same thought. It’s a huge privilege to add one more to their number.

And we couldn’t have done it without you.

In many ways, Pure is the perfect Unbound book. Rose’s courage and skill combined with our enthusiasm and experience matched by your generosity all add to make something properly valuable. Something that might otherwise never have seen the light of day.

We hope that makes you feel as proud as we do.

John Mitchinson, Co-founder Unbound
Click here to read more and order a special edition of Pure