Sian Prior\u2019s Shy: A Memoir explores a lifelong struggle with crippling shyness. A few years ago, after panicking and then fleeing from a birthday party Prior decided to set about finding out what it meant to be shy.\r\nBut with the word shy there\u2019s no authority, no control, It\u2019s a blushing, hunching word; a nervous, knock-kneed, wallflower word. A word for children, not grown-ups, because surely grown-ups grow out of shyness. Don\u2019t they?\u201d\r\nMingling personal accounts with research, Prior sets out to uncover what it means to be shy by putting herself at the centre of the experiment. Perhaps an unorthodox approach to dealing with her shyness, Prior candidly recounts periods of intense insecurity and anxiety.\r\n\r\nSian Prior's latest book "Shy: A Memoir" published by Text Publishing...\r\n\r\nRearing its head throughout the book is Prior\u2019s interaction with mirrors. The book starts with her removing a mirror from the bedroom she shared with her ex-partner. This battle she has with mirrors, often removing them, is drawn not from the fear of what the mirror reflects but for the fantasy it creates.\r\nFrom now on, whenever I left the privacy of my room, I would have to be myself, not who I was trying to present myself to be. That was my theory, anyway\u201d\r\nSian Prior is perhaps best known for her career in journalism. She has worked as a writer, broadcaster, singer and teacher, all of which would make you think that she would have no problem socially. However, Prior takes the opportunity in Shy to admit a necessity to adopt a professional persona to cope with social interactions, aptly dubbed \u2018Professional Sian\u2019.\r\n\r\nShy: A Memoir is a dynamic read. There are a variety of different chapters, ranging from archetypal memoir accounts of the past and present to interviews between herself and her mother. This assortment of form makes Shy easy to read, a book that rolls and moves and draws you along for the ride.\r\n\r\nThis in some way reflects the dynamic tension of our public and private lives. But this is not an either\/or moment. Prior reflects upon the battle between who she wants to be and who she wants to appear to be. This appears for Prior in two opposing forces, one desiring intimacy and transparency and the other distance and uncertainty,\r\nI want to be alone\r\n\r\n I crave company\r\n\r\nI need solitude\r\n\r\nI hate being by myself\u2019\r\nAgain the mirror appears through out this. On one hand Prior rejects the mirror as reflecting an illusion, an unreality and on the other, a safety net, and a reflection built to create security.\r\n\r\n\u201cI needed the mirror to compose my features, set my expression. Straighten the mask. I had to see myself as others were about to see me \u2013 or as I wished them to see me\u201d\r\n\r\nIn the end, Sian Prior has chosen to face the most direct and penetrating mirror of them all, the memoir. In doing so she has looked at herself from the inside, and then shared what she found with the rest of us.\r\n* * *\r\nPublisher: Text Publishing\r\nNumber of pages:\u00a0256\r\nFormat:\u00a0Paperback\r\nPublication date:\u00a028 May 2014\r\nISBN:\u00a09781922182272\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNote: The writer of this review received a copy of the book from the publisher.