The Soundtrack of my Childhood by Maria Majsa: An extract from The Journal of Urgent Writing 2017


Maria Majsa’s yearning for a happy childhood and later a personal rebellion are reflected in her music choices.

1. Penny Lane

This is my first memory. I am 4. I'm standing in a corner of the kitchen. It is evening, probably winter, because the lights are on. I'm staring at the floor, which is a giant chequerboard of black and white lino. My mother keeps it exceptionally clean. She gets down on her hands and knees with an old cloth and a bucket of soapy water and washes it at night. There are jokes about floors being so clean you could eat off them, but my mother's floors really were that clean. She's on the floor now, but she's not cleaning. She's lying on her side, eyes shut, waiting for it to be over. I want to do something, but I'm scared, so I stay in the corner and watch.

Read the full extract at NZ Herald here.