Nobody writes like Nell Dunn... always communally, with rare honesty, with love, and with calm and ground-breaking understanding... It's glorious. Ali Smith Nell Dunn has perfect pitch for the words we use and for the loves and mysteries of the human heart. Carmen Callil Defiant, funny and exhilarating. The Muse is so high-spirited and full of a sense of adventure. Margaret Drabble The Muse is the story of a life-changing friendship. It starts with Nell's account of a chance meeting with Josie at the age of 22. Josie teaches her how to live for moment, how to have adventures and find the sweetness of life even in hardship. This was the Sixties, a time of literary and sexual experimentation, of the breakdown of old barriers and inhibitions Even as she was hooking up with dodgy men, Josie always carried herself like a star, and as the inspiration for the ground-breaking novel of working class women Poor Cow and the play Steaming - both of which were made into movies - she became one, feted by producers on Broadway. Life is the thing, was Josie's motto. But where would her philosophy of taking no care for tomorrow lead her? In prose of unique clarity and simplicity that always gets straight to the heart of matter, The Muse follows this friendship over the decades.