Descent: An Irresistible Tragicomedy of Everyday Life
Roman à clef
Descent: An Irresistible Tragicomedy of Everyday Life is a 2004 roman à clef by Sabrina Broadbent about a troubled marriage. The protagonist, Genevieve, is a psychiatric nurse whose husband, a filmmaker, leaves her at home while he travels the world having sexual intercourse with well-known actresses. Descent was Broadbent's debut novel and is based on her own marriage. After Descent, her next novel was You Don't Have to be Good, which also takes romantic problems as its subject. Descent was the inaugural winner of the W H Smith Raw Talent Award. Stephen Rodrick of The New York Times called Descent "a touching, smart novel."
The novel is based on Broadbent's previous marriage. Broadbent had been married to Michael Winterbottom and had had two daughters with him, but the couple divorced; Andrew Eaton suggested that Winterbottom went on to reflect the family's life in fiction as well, in the film Genova, although Winterbottom denied this claim. As an autobiographical novel, Descent specifically documents the deterioration of Broadbent's marriage to Winterbottom as a result of his long work-related absences. Broadbent began writing the novel at age 49, after taking a Jacksons Lane course in creative writing. In relation to Descent, Broadbent said, "I didn't really set out to write a novel... I was writing about a woman who gets to that point in her life that everything seems to be collapsing."
- Damon Smith (2010). Michael Winterbottom: Interviews. University Press of Mississippi. p. xxiii. ISBN 1604738413.
- Alfred Hickling (April 23, 2005). "Descent, by Sabrina Broadbent". The Guardian. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- Emma Hagestadt (June 4, 2010). "You Don't Have to be Good, By Sabrina Broadbent". The Independent. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- Emma Hagestadt (July 22, 2009). "Life after the Bea runs out". The Independent. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- "The Raw Talent competition has now closed!". W H Smith. Archived from the original on June 5, 2002.
- Stephen Rodrick (July 3, 2005). "Michael Winterbottom Gets Naked". The New York Times. p. 4. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- Sheila Johnston (March 31, 2009). "Michael Winterbottom interview: on his film 'Genova'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- Steve Kilgallon (November 27, 2011). "Sex, drugs and self-control". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- "You don't have to be good to write a trilogy, but it helps". Haringey Independent. August 17, 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- Rachel Cooke (May 23, 2010). "Michael Winterbottom on The Killer Inside Me". The Observer. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
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