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Announcing Base Notes

In February 2025, White Rabbit will publish Base Notes, a memoir by Adelle Stripe.

With warmth, wit and unflinching humour, Base Notes documents that lost, last tribe that rarely gets served by contemporary literature – the Northern working-class.


This big-hearted, tragicomic memoir chronicles a pre-internet smalltown England of the 1980s and 90s already fading from view. Here memories are triggered by perfumes and their aspirational advertising campaigns, the scenes from Adelle Stripe’s adolescence and young adulthood Proustian in their poetic scale and universality, but born out of a droll comedic tradition too.


At its centre are the fraught relationships between mothers and firstborn daughters who discover they harbour vastly differing ambitions and desires. A bedroom dreamer with a headful of Andy Warhol, Stripe’s is a universe of daytime drinking and religious fervour, low-income Tories and workaholic farmers, everyday sexual predators and smalltown suicides, late night chatlines and morning frost on curtainless windows. But it is also gloriously, unapologetically alive – like Elena Ferrante in Thatcher’s Britain or a Billy Liar who finally gets on the train.


With a keen eye for the absurd, an ear cocked to eavesdropped conversation and a nose that finds perfume wherever it goes, Stripe swerves sentimentality and redemption by boldly laying her lived experience on the page - and creating literature out of a life less ordinary.

Lee Brackstone, Publisher at White Rabbit said: ‘A northern working-class memoir about a girl who grew up in a beauty salon, contextualised and structured around the ubiquitous late 20th century High Street scents which seem to saturate the pages, Base Notes is an olfactory journey into the past of a writer with a fascinating story. There is such immediacy, poignancy and poetry here; echoes of Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges are Not the Only Fruit framed by the madeleine of perfume. Base Notes is the perfect follow-up to Adelle’s Sunday Times Bestseller, Ten Thousand Apologies.’


Base Notes will be published by White Rabbit (Orion) on 13th February 2025 in hardback, trade paperback, ebook and audio digital download. Cover and pre-order links to be revealed in the coming months.


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