In 1957, aged 10, Anderson’s childhood was abruptly brought to an end when she was diagnosed as having cancerous lumps in her arm. A prominent surgeon amputated the limb, a procedure that, Anderson later found out, may not have been necessary. Halfway to Venus tells of her struggle to accept the loss of part of her body and to live with the prejudices of other. Mixed with these personal recollections are an exploration of amputation in history and art, and an examination of the ideal form as represented by the Venus de Milo. The author is fascinating about the ‘nerve storms’ that affect her phantom limb, and about her body’s memory of amputation (her wound is ‘metallic-edged’, she says). She is riveting, too, on such disturbing subjects as acrotomophilia – being aroused by the idea of having sex with an amputee. That this book had to be self-published (it was deemed too difficult to categorise) is testament both to her determination to expose taboo and to her own integrity.’ Freya-Grace McClelland.