Monday, October 6, 2014

Shy: A Memoir, by Sian Prior

Staff Review by Chris Saliba

In this thoughtful and sensitive memoir, Sian Prior tackles her often crippling shyness.

When Sian Prior put on her professional cap as writer, broadcaster, singer and teacher, she could pretty confidently sail through life without too much bother. But when minus her professional armour, in regular social situations, then socialising became a nightmare. The problem was shyness. Or to use a more technical term, social anxiety. Prior would find herself fleeing social engagements. Her social phobias became so pronounced that it presented in a series of physical ailments.

Shy mixes memoir with clinical research into social anxiety. The basic finding is there are differing levels of the affliction and that at core it’s a fear of negative evaluation by others. It may seem like a mild socialising problem, but to sufferers shyness can be devastating.

Sian Prior hasn’t written a self-help book. Shy doesn’t strive to help people get over their shyness. It’s part confessional and part sympathetic hand-to-hold for fellow sufferers. Prior soothes, consoles and explains what it’s like to walk in the shoes of an intensely shy person.

Shy: A Memoir, by Sian Prior. Published by Text. ISBN: 9781922182272  RRP: $32.99

This review was first published in the North & West Melbourne News

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