Books / English

Book ideas – memory and what you should forget

Here are a few suggestions from English language books that I read over the summer. They all ended up unintentonally linked by the theme of memory,  and what the individual or society should hold on to and what should be forgotten;

  • The Hare with the Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal – beautifully-written historical memoir spanning 19th century artistic Paris, Vienna up to the Second World War, and Japan in the Twentieth Century. Much more than a family saga.
  • The File, by Anthony Garton Ash – Oxford historian and journalist Anthony Garton Ash reported on East Germany before for the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Ten years later, he reads his Stasi files compiled by the East German secret services, and confronts the informants that he had viewed as friends.
  • Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe – the grandfather of modern English language literature from the African continent writes about a  flawed hero confronted by colonialism. The Guardian newspaper has an interesting interview.

The latter two are short which is an added bonus at busy rentrée time. Any other suggestions from anyone?