Two weeks after my dad died, I sat down in a bar in Glasgow and began to write out some of my anger and pain. I'd never written anything so personal before, but it helped. In fact, it became addictive. I started purging everything I could: problems with my mental health, my sister's illness, parents' breakdowns, academic failures, and my issues with alcohol and sex. I completely let go, and what came out was one long howl.
Even so, I was surprised at how much warmth, love, and humour I still had in me – and how it was apparent even in the saddest things I'd written.
I was even more surprised, and in fact terrified, when the book got accepted for publication.
Any Other Mouth is described by my publisher as 'a viciously funny, gut-wrenching and shockingly frank account of sexual misadventure, familial disintegration, loss, hope and self-discovery.'
Unfortunately since the publisher no longer exists the book is not for sale any more.
'Ultimately, Any Other Mouth is about coming out the other side of trauma, about finding hope in the tiny triumphs of life. In the closing story, “This Could Happen To Us”, Gretchen, in the first flush of love, dreams of a future life with her damaged boyfriend. It’s one of the saddest yet most uplifting things I’ve read in ages and it made me cry. Mackintosh is a real talent and Any Other Mouth is a remarkable debut.' The Independent
'I was mightily impressed with Anneliese Mackintosh's debut story collection Any Other Mouth... skilful, deft writing and a brutally honest insight into grief, mental illness and much more.' The Herald, Books Of The Year 2014
'An unnerving debut that sits at the intersection between short story collection, novel and memoir... Mackintosh manages the impressive feat of laying bare her broken heart, dysfunctional family and insecurities in a way that seduces rather than invites pity, a vein of wry humour running through even the darkest moments.' ***** The List Magazine
'Mackintosh welcomes you into her world, puts a conspiratorial arm around your shoulder, and makes the reader feel special, as if she is sharing her characters and their lives only with them. She has a way of making you feel things are alright, even when they're really not, and it is rare for a writer to care in this manner for the reader. Any Other Mouth is one of the most intimate and insightful reads you are likely to experience, and is a reminder of how important the best writing should be.' Scots Whay Hae!
'Raw, edgy, unpretentious and reminiscent of Irvine Welsh at his best.' Puffin Review
'Any Other Mouth is a promising and original work. As a teller of stories, Mackintosh is a natural.' Glasgow Review Of Books
'I don't know how you'll feel about the stories. I fucking loved them, though. There is an amazing mixture of feelings that I went through while reading: I felt sick, I felt really fucking horny, I felt empty and thirsty and happy and curious. And it also made me laugh out loud in places like a fucking maniac. I felt like I wanted to gobble up everything about this girl. It is fucking amazing.' BookCunt
'Each of these stories had me at its first sentence and that doesn’t happen very often..... an absolute gem.' **** Plastic Rosaries
'Partially autobiographical, this is the messy, ludicrous, wildly entertaining story of a girl who’s just a little bit different. OK, make that a lot different.' **** The Book Bag
'What I found very surprising about it was that while many things happen in the telling that are immensely sad, truly horrific, terribly shocking or merely very deep the author doesn't pull you in and involve you but merely seeks to inform you. It's a ploy that keeps you reading...'. Our Book Reviews Online
'As well as providing an interesting variety of styles I think this anthology/novel form allows us to explore the character’s key emotions and responses more intensively than in a straightforward novel. I certainly felt I knew Gretchen quite intimately after reading it and that’s not just an sly allusion to the fact that there’s a lot of sex in this book. Several of the stories are centered on painful key emotional moments for the character but you don’t get bogged down because the next story will shift the focus.' Workshyfop website
'Any Other Mouth was heart rending - personally, I find reading about daily disappointments very difficult, maybe even more so than the huge, traumatic ones. Mackintosh is brave with her content, and styles it in a way that is both simple and dramatic. There is an honesty throughout the stories that is almost horrible. (But I know that it is true because of this: "We talk about weighty issues like the correct use of a semi-colon; we drink a lot of cheap wine... We constantly dicuss how little work we're doing..." That made me smile, because it is exactly my own experience of doing an MLitt in creative writing.) Though I finished Any Other Mouth a few days ago, I still get quite sad when I think about the stories, but if anything this is testament to how clearly and effectively Mackintosh can communicate experience and feeling in words.' Subtle Melodrama
'The book itself is superbly written, equal parts devastating and laugh-out-loud funny. Mackintosh has a keen eye for the strange and surreal in normality... The book strikes a delicate balance between the humour and tragedy, one which is often difficult to achieve and makes what could be a difficult subject to read about, extremely engaging. This is an honest and brilliant debut from an author who is likely to become a household name. Any Other Mouth is going to be on everyone’s book of the year lists.' The Cadaverine
'This is a superb piece of work from a genius of the personal who nevertheless understands that personal is not the same as important.' Max Dunbar
'One of the lovely things about reading this book is this: if you didn’t know her, by the end, you feel you know Mackintosh – her honesty cuts deep. You might see her at a café in Manchester and think you know why she’s having herbal tea. But I wouldn’t forget that 32%. I would keep wondering.' The Real Story
'There's comfort in knowing your weird truth is not just yours after all. But with all that out in the open I can't help but wonder where this author will go from here. And then I realise, AM can write about anything she wants to. She could write about the most mundane things because she can turn just about anything into something poignant and sincere. And that's the most any writer can ever really hope for.' Kiss The Witch
'A remarkable, daring and original work. Anneliese Mackintosh is the real thing.' MJ Hyland, author of Carry Me Down
'It's rare to feel so intimate with characters that they seem like lifelong friends who you love, enjoy, worry for, and won't ever forget. I feel painfully close to the protagonist in Anneliese Mackintosh's stories. She laid herself bare for me. I need to hear from this exceptional writer again.' Helen Fitzgerald, author of The Donor
'I waited for years in despair for the voice of the next generation to emerge and feared the worst - but she's here, and what a stupendous arrival... heart-wrenching, cheeky, profound and at the same time utterly stylish... an immense achievement.' Ewan Morrison, author of Close Your Eyes
'This is the best thing I've read in years. Brutally honest and exquisitely crafted, this is a book that breaks your heart, slowly rebuilds it, only to smash it to pieces again. I'm seething with envy.' Doug Johnstone, author of Gone Again
'With such a varied collection it’s hard to pigeonhole and say that she is a compassionate, vibrant, melancholy, excitable or writer, or indeed any of the other adjectives that could be thrown her way. Anneliese comes across as I imagine she does in real life – passionate, knowledgable, caring and unflinchingly honest. You want to know what she is thinking because she writes it down so bloody well.' Dominic Stevenson
'Among the most important debuts of the year [was] Anneliese Mackintosh’s Any Other Mouth... By turns funny, affecting, heartening and strange, this is a hugely impressive first book.' In Civilian's The Best Books Of 2014