Born prematurely in 1931 with cerebral palsy, Antonia grows, with uncoordinated arms and odd appearance, but finds compensation in her sharp intelligence and sense of fun. A roller-coaster childhood of fury and naughtiness follows, due to physical frustration, adult misunderstanding and name-calling. Unable to write, she teaches herself to type; slowly and arduously, but it enables her to get an education. After winning a place at Durham University, marrying Hugo, and starting their family, she moves to South Africa where the cruelty of Apartheid horrifies her; the rebel within is reactivated. She sells aluminium coffins, then teaches black students, which aggravates the authorities and triggers their decision to return to the UK. The adjustment to life in the UK proves difficult. After the breakdown of her marriage, she moves into a large old house and fills it with selected male lodgers. She retrains as a psychotherapist and finds deep fulfilment in this work for many years. She also becomes a campaigner for the medical use of cannabis, which takes her to Westminster. Her new doctor asks how she has survived into her mid-eighties. She replies, "Broccoli and bloody-mindedness!" Broccoli and Bloody-mindedness spans more than eighty years and explores many places, from South Wales to South Africa. A quirky, often funny, yet thought-provoking memoir, it shows how Antonia coped with everyday difficulties, as well as challenging herself in more unusual, occasionally bizarre circumstances.
Antonia Lister-Kaye was born in 1931 with cerebral palsy. She enjoyed a successful career teaching History in London, Nigeria and South Africa, later training as a psychotherapist. In 1990, she published a novel which led to talks about disability on radio and television. She currently lives in Brighton.