War and Turpentine

War and Turpentine
Author: Stefan Hertmans
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781101872116
Available:
Release: 2017-07-25
Editor: Vintage
Language: un

Explanation of the Book:

The life of Urbain Martien -- artist, soldier, survivor of World War I -- lies contained in two notebooks he left behind when he died in 1981. His grandson, a writer, retells his story, the notebooks giving him the impetus to imagine his way into the locked chambers of Urbain's memory. He vividly recounts a whole life: Urbain as the child of a lowly church painter, retouching his father's work; dodging death in a foundry; fighting in the war that altered the course of history; marrying the sister of the woman he truly loved; haunted by an ever-present reminder of the artist he had hoped to be and the soldier he was forced to become. Wrestling with this story, Urbain's grandson straddles past and present, searching for a way to understand his own part in both. As artfully rendered as a Renaissance fresco, War and Turpentine paints an extraordinary portrait of one man's life and reveals how that life echoed down through the generations.

War and Turpentine

War and Turpentine
Author: Stefan Hertmans
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781101874035
Available:
Release: 2016-08-09
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017 A New York Times Top 10 Best Book of the Year An Economist Best Book of the Year The life of Urbain Martien—artist, soldier, survivor of World War I—lies contained in two notebooks he left behind when he died in 1981. In War and Turpentine, his grandson, a writer, retells his grandfather’s story, the notebooks providing a key to the locked chambers of Urbain’s memory. With vivid detail, the grandson recounts a whole life: Urbain as the child of a lowly church painter, retouching his father’s work;dodging death in a foundry; fighting in the war that altered the course of history; marrying the sister of the woman he truly loved; being haunted by an ever-present reminder of the artist he had hoped to be and the soldier he was forced to become. Wrestling with this tale, the grandson straddles past and present, searching for a way to understand his own part in both. As artfully rendered as a Renaissance fresco, War and Turpentine paints an extraordinary portrait of one man’s life and reveals how that life echoed down through the generations. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout)

War and Turpentine

War and Turpentine
Author: Stefan Hertmans
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781922253019
Available:
Release: 2016-07-18
Editor: Text Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Shortly before his death in 1981, Stefan Hertmans’ grandfather gave him a couple of filled exercise books. Stories he’d heard as a child had led Hertmans to suspect that their contents might be disturbing, and for years he didn’t dare to open them. When he finally did, he discovered unexpected secrets. His grandfather’s life was marked by years of childhood poverty in late-nineteenth-century Belgium, by horrific experiences on the frontlines during the First World War and by the loss of the young love of his life. He sublimated his grief in the silence of painting. Drawing on these diary entries, his childhood memories and the stories told within Urbain’s paintings, Hertmans has produced a poetic novelisation of his grandfather’s story, brought to life with great imaginative power and vivid detail. War and Turpentine is an enthralling search for a life that coincided with the tragedy of a century—and a posthumous, almost mythical attempt to give that life a voice at last. Stefan Hertmans has published novels, short-story collections, essays and poetry. In 1995 he was awarded the three-yearly Flemish poetry prize. He has also received two nominations for the VSB Poetry Prize. His most recent novel, The Hidden Tissue, received unanimous praise. ‘Hertmans follows in his grandfather’s footsteps in this brilliant and moving imagined reconstruction, his imagination beautifully filling the gaps as he describes “the battle between the transcendent, which he yearned for, and the memory of death and destruction, which held him in its clutches.’ Sunday Express ‘A mesmerising portrait of an artist as a young man, a significant contribution to First World War literature and a brilliant evocation of a vanished world.’ Herald ‘A masterly treatise on the interconnections of life, art, memory, and heartbreaking love...Hertmans’s prose, with a deft translation from McKay, works with the same full palette as Urbain Martien’s paintings: vivid, passionate—and in the end, life-affirming.’ Publishers Weekly ‘Wonderful, full of astonishingly vivid moments of powerful imagery...[Hertmans] brilliantly captures the intractable reality of a complex man...I thought I’d had enough of books about the First World War; I couldn’t have been more wrong.’ Sunday Times ‘Every detail has the heightened luminosity of poetry...The book has such convincing density of detail, with the quiddities of a particular life so truthfully rendered, that I was reminded of a phrase from Middlemarch: “an idea wrought back to the directness of sense, like the solidity of objects”. Hertmans’ achievement is exactly that...War and Turpentine has all the markings of a future classic.’ Guardian ‘A gritty yet melancholy account of war and memory and art that may remind some readers of the work of the German writer W. G. Sebald...Urbain Martien was a man of another time. This serious and dignified book is old-fashioned, too, in the pleasant sense that it seems built to last.’ New York Times ‘[Hertmans] recreates the lives and losses of the deceased with enormous empathy and skill... Like many family dramas, this is a work that veers between sense and sentimentality. It is in many ways an old-fashioned book, and pleasingly so... It is sympathetic remembrance, shaped into lasting elegy.’ Australian ‘A lovingly reimagined life of an ordinary man whose life was forever marked by the first world war. Fine prose from a Flemish-Belgian poet and essayist.’ Best Books of 2016, Australian Financial Review ‘‘Reminiscent of WG Sebald, this intoxicating hybrid of a book combines memoir with fiction...This beautiful and cunning book is the result of that transformation.’ Dominic Smith, Best Books of 2016, Australian ‘A lovingly reimagined life of an ordinary man whose life was for ever marked by the first world war.’ Best Books of 2016, Economist ‘A thought-provoking novel...He comes at the subject in ways that acknowledge the difficulties of remembering.’ NZ Listener

War and Turpentine

War and Turpentine
Author: Stefan Hertmans
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781473511699
Available:
Release: 2016-06-30
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

WINNER OF THE VONDEL PRIZE 2017 LONGLISTED FOR THE 2017 MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in The Times, Sunday Times and The Economist, and one of the 10 Best Books of 2016 in the New York Times Shortly before his death, Stefan Hertmans' grandfather Urbain Martien gave his grandson a set of notebooks containing the detailed memories of his life. He grew up in poverty around 1900, the son of a struggling church painter who died young, and went to work in an iron foundry at only 13. Afternoons spent with his father at work on a church fresco were Urbain’s heaven; the iron foundry an inferno. During the First World War, Urbain was on the front line confronting the invading Germans, and ever after he is haunted by events he can never forget. The war ends and he marries his great love, Maria Emelia, but she dies tragically in the 1919 flu epidemic. Urbain mourns her bitterly for the rest of his life but, like the obedient soldier he is, he marries her sister at her parents' bidding. The rest is not quite silence, but a marriage with a sad secret at its heart, and the consolations found in art and painting. War and Turpentine is the imaginative reconstruction of a damaged life across the tumultuous decades of the twentieth century; a deeply moving portrayal of family, grief, love and war.

The Convert

The Convert
Author: Stefan Hertmans
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781524747091
Available:
Release: 2020-02-04
Editor: Pantheon
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Finalist for the 2020 National Jewish Book Awards In this dazzling work of historical fiction, the Man Booker International–long-listed author of War and Turpentine reconstructs the tragic story of a medieval noblewoman who leaves her home and family for the love of a Jewish boy. In eleventh-century France, Vigdis Adelaïs, a young woman from a prosperous Christian family, falls in love with David Todros, a rabbi’s son and yeshiva student. To be together, the couple must flee their city, and Vigdis must renounce her life of privilege and comfort. Pursued by her father’s knights and in constant danger of betrayal, the lovers embark on a dangerous journey to the south of France, only to find their brief happiness destroyed by the vicious wave of anti-Semitism sweeping through Europe with the onset of the First Crusade. What begins as a story of forbidden love evolves into a globe-trotting trek spanning continents, as Vigdis undertakes an epic journey to Cairo and back, enduring the unimaginable in hopes of finding her lost children. Based on two fragments from the Cairo Genizah—a repository of more than three hundred thousand manuscripts and documents stored in the upper chamber of a synagogue in Old Cairo—Stefan Hertmans has pieced together a remarkable work of imagination, re-creating the tragic story of two star-crossed lovers whose steps he retraces almost a millennium later. Blending fact and fiction, and with immense imagination and stylistic ingenuity, Hertmans painstakingly depicts Vigdis’s terrible trials, bringing the Middle Ages to life and illuminating a chaotic world of love and hate.

The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others
Author: Neel Mukherjee
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9788184006261
Available:
Release: 2014-06-13
Editor: Random House India
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

‘Ma, I feel exhausted with consuming, with taking and grabbing and using. I am so bloated that I feel I cannot breathe any more. I am leaving to find some air, some place where I shall be able to purge myself, push back against the life given me and make my own. I feel I live in a borrowed house. It’s time to find my own . . . Forgive me . . .’ Calcutta, 1967. Unnoticed by his family, Supratik has become dangerously involved in student unrest, agitation, extremist political activism. Compelled by an idealistic desire to change his life and the world around him, all he leaves behind before disappearing is this note . . . The ageing patriarch and matriarch of his family, the Ghoshes, preside over their large household, unaware that beneath the barely ruffled surface of their lives the sands are shifting. More than poisonous rivalries among sisters-in-law, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business, this is a family unraveling as the society around it fractures. For this is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations, and between those who have and those who have not, has never been wider. Ambitious, rich and compassionate, The Lives of Others unfolds a family history, and anatomizes a social class in all its contradictions. It asks: can we escape what is in our blood? How do we imagine our place amongst others in the world? Can that be reimagined? And at what cost? This is a novel of rare power and emotional force.

Children s Literature in Translation

Children   s Literature in Translation
Author: Jan Van Coillie,Jack McMartin
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9789462702226
Available:
Release: 2020-10-30
Editor: Leuven University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

For many of us, our earliest and most meaningful experiences with literature occur through the medium of a translated children’s book. This volume focuses on the complex interplay that happens between text and context when works of children’s literature are translated: what contexts of production and reception account for how translated children’s books come to be made and read as they are? How are translated children’s books adapted to suit the context of a new culture? Spanning the disciplines of Children’s Literature Studies and Translation Studies, this book brings together established and emerging voices to provide an overview of the analytical, empirical and geographic richness of current research in this field and to identify and reflect on common insights, analytical perspectives and trajectories for future interdisciplinary research. This volume will appeal to an interdisciplinary audience of scholars and students in Translation Studies and Children’s Literature Studies and related disciplines. It has a broad geographic and cultural scope, with contributions dealing with translated children’s literature in the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, Spain, France, Brazil, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, China, the former Yugoslavia, Sweden, Germany, and Belgium.

Candy

Candy
Author: Kevin Brooks
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781909489219
Available:
Release: 2014-07-03
Editor: Chicken House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Joe is hooked from the moment he sees Candy. What is it that catches his eye? Is it her hair, her smile, or just the way she's standing? When they chat over coffee there's an instant attraction - but can love ever be this sweet?

While the Gods Were Sleeping

While the Gods Were Sleeping
Author: Erwin Mortier
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781782270850
Available:
Release: 2015-02-10
Editor: Pushkin Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

While the Gods Were Sleeping is a novel about the magnitude and impact of the First World War, the recollections of which are recorded in the notebooks of the elderly Helena. The young Helena is sent to her uncle’s country house before the war, and from here she witnesses scenes of indescribable horror. But it is also where she meets Matthew again, a British Army photographer who she goes on to marry. This is a story not about spectacular events; rather, Mortier is concerned with writing about war, history and the past with great empathy and engagement, and with a mixture of melancholy, qualification and resignation.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
Author: Dominic Smith
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780374714048
Available:
Release: 2016-04-05
Editor: Sarah Crichton Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Written in prose so clear that we absorb its images as if by mind meld, “The Last Painting” is gorgeous storytelling: wry, playful, and utterly alive, with an almost tactile awareness of the emotional contours of the human heart. Vividly detailed, acutely sensitive to stratifications of gender and class, it’s fiction that keeps you up at night — first because you’re barreling through the book, then because you’ve slowed your pace to a crawl, savoring the suspense.” —Boston Globe A New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice A RARE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY PAINTING LINKS THREE LIVES, ON THREE CONTINENTS, OVER THREE CENTURIES IN THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS, AN EXHILARATING NEW NOVEL FROM DOMINIC SMITH. Amsterdam, 1631: Sara de Vos becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the city’s Guild of St. Luke. Though women do not paint landscapes (they are generally restricted to indoor subjects), a wintry outdoor scene haunts Sara: She cannot shake the image of a young girl from a nearby village, standing alone beside a silver birch at dusk, staring out at a group of skaters on the frozen river below. Defying the expectations of her time, she decides to paint it. New York City, 1957: The only known surviving work of Sara de Vos, At the Edge of a Wood, hangs in the bedroom of a wealthy Manhattan lawyer, Marty de Groot, a descendant of the original owner. It is a beautiful but comfortless landscape. The lawyer’s marriage is prominent but comfortless, too. When a struggling art history grad student, Ellie Shipley, agrees to forge the painting for a dubious art dealer, she finds herself entangled with its owner in ways no one could predict. Sydney, 2000: Now a celebrated art historian and curator, Ellie Shipley is mounting an exhibition in her field of specialization: female painters of the Dutch Golden Age. When it becomes apparent that both the original At the Edge of a Wood and her forgery are en route to her museum, the life she has carefully constructed threatens to unravel entirely and irrevocably.

Theory of War

Theory of War
Author: Joan Brady
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781849839532
Available:
Release: 2012-01-26
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

'A modern work of genius' Spectator Winner of the Costa/Whitbread Book of the Year Award 1993 Forced into slavery as a child, Jonathan Carrick escapes to a new life but within him lies the need for revenge against George Stokes, the son of his former master. Mallory Carrick, confined to a wheelchair, seeks to find out the truth about her grandfather's history. Haunting, elegant and passionate, Theory of War is a novel about how the past lives on through following generations. It follows one woman's journey to discover what her grandfather might have experienced and how his suffering still haunts his descendants.

The Missing of the Somme

The Missing of the Somme
Author: Geoff Dyer
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9780307743237
Available:
Release: 2011-08-09
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Missing of the Somme is part travelogue, part meditation on remembrance—and completely, unabashedly, unlike any other book about the First World War. Through visits to battlefields and memorials, Geoff Dyer examines the way that photographs and film, poetry and prose determined—sometimes in advance of the events described—the way we would think about and remember the war. With his characteristic originality and insight, Dyer untangles and reconstructs the network of myth and memory that illuminates our understanding of, and relationship to, the Great War.

Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name
Author: Douglas A. Blackmon
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9781848314139
Available:
Release: 2012-10-04
Editor: Icon Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the mistreatment of black Americans. In this 'precise and eloquent work' - as described in its Pulitzer Prize citation - Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history - an 'Age of Neoslavery' that thrived in the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II. Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude thereafter. By turns moving, sobering and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals these stories, the companies that profited the most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.

The Winter War

The Winter War
Author: Philip Teir
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781487000455
Available:
Release: 2015-07-24
Editor: House of Anansi
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

On the surface, the Paul family are living the liberal, middle-class Scandinavian dream. Max Paul is a renowned sociologist and his wife Katriina has a well-paid job in the public sector. They live in an airy apartment in the centre of Helsinki. But look closer and the cracks start to show. As he approaches his sixtieth birthday, the certainties of Max's life begin to dissolve. He hasn't produced any work of note for decades. His wife no longer loves him. His grown-up daughters — one in London, one in Helsinki — have problems of their own. So when a former student turned journalist shows up and offers him a seductive lifeline, Max starts down a dangerous path from which he may never find a way back. Funny, sharp, and brilliantly truthful, Teir's debut has the feel of a big, contemporary, humane American novel, but with a distinctly Scandinavian edge.

All Our Worldly Goods

All Our Worldly Goods
Author: Irène Némirovsky
Pages: 264
ISBN: 9780307743299
Available:
Release: 2011
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Pierre Hardelot breaks off his engagement to a wealthy heiress to marry Agnes Florent, the daughter of the local brewer, setting off a family feud which lasts for thirty years, as their village is first destroyed by World War I and then threatened again with the coming of World War II.

Hystopia

Hystopia
Author: David Means
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780571330140
Available:
Release: 2016-05-24
Editor: Faber & Faber
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

At the bitter end of the 1960s, after surviving multiple assassination attempts, President John F. Kennedy has created a vast federal agency, the Psych Corps, dedicated to maintaining the nation's mental hygiene by any means necessary. Soldiers returning from Vietnam have their battlefield traumas "enfolded"-wiped from their memories through drugs and therapy-while veterans too damaged to be enfolded roam at will in Michigan, evading the Psych Corps and reenacting atrocities on civilians. This destabilized, alternate version of American history is the vision of the twenty-two-year-old veteran Eugene Allen, who has returned from Vietnam to write the book at the center of Hystopia, the long-awaited first novel by David Means. In Hystopia, Means brings his full talent to bear on the crazy reality of trauma, both national and personal. Outlandish and tender, funny and violent, timely and historical, Hystopia invites us to consider whether our traumas can ever be truly overcome. The answers it offers are wildly inventive, deeply rooted in its characters, and wrung from the author's own heart.

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage
Author: Kim Darroch
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781541751026
Available:
Release: 2020-10-13
Editor: PublicAffairs
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"@realDonaldTrump: The wacky ambassador that the UK foisted on the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy ... We will no longer deal with him." Kim Darroch is one of the UK's most experienced and respected diplomats, and this unvarnished, behind-the-scenes account will reveal the inside story behind his resignation; describe the challenges of dealing with the Trump White House; and offer a diplomat's perspective on Brexit, and how it looked to Britain's closest ally. Darroch was the British Ambassador to the US as the age of Trump dawned and Brexit unfolded. He explains why the British embassy expected a Trump victory from as early as February 2016, what part every key figure - from Steve Bannon to Sarah Sanders - has played in Trump's administration, and what balanced policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic should consider during this era of seismic change and populist politics. A riveting account from the best-informed insider, Collateral Damage charts the strangest and most convulsive period in the recent history of Britain and the US - and shows how 30 months threatened to overturn three centuries of history.

War Fever

War Fever
Author: Randy Roberts,Johnny Smith
Pages: 368
ISBN: 1541672682
Available:
Release: 2021-03-16
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A "marvelous" (Sports Illustrated) portrait of the three men whose lives were forever changed by WWI-era Boston and the Spanish flu: baseball star Babe Ruth, symphony conductor Karl Muck, and Harvard law student Charles Whittlesey In the fall of 1918, a fever gripped Boston. The streets emptied as paranoia about the deadly Spanish flu spread. Newspapermen and vigilante investigators aggressively sought to discredit anyone who looked or sounded German. And as the war raged on, the enemy seemed to be lurking everywhere: prowling in submarines off the coast of Cape Cod, arriving on passenger ships in the harbor, or disguised as the radicals lecturing workers about the injustice of a sixty-hour workweek. War Fever explores this delirious moment in American history through the stories of three men: Karl Muck, the German conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, accused of being an enemy spy; Charles Whittlesey, a Harvard law graduate who became an unlikely hero in Europe; and the most famous baseball player of all time, Babe Ruth, poised to revolutionize the game he loved. Together, they offer a gripping narrative of America at war and American culture in upheaval.

The Lives of Lucian Freud Fame

The Lives of Lucian Freud  Fame
Author: William Feaver
Pages: 576
ISBN: 9780525657675
Available:
Release: 2021-01-19
Editor: Knopf
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The first biography of the epic life of one of the most important, enigmatic and private artists of the 20th century. Drawn from almost 40 years of conversations with the artist, letters and papers, it is a major work written by a well-known British art critic. Lucian Freud (1922-2011) is one of the most influential figurative painters of the 20th century. His paintings are in every major museum and many private collections here and abroad. William Feaver's daily calls from 1973 until Freud died in 2011, as well as interviews with family and friends were crucial sources for this book. Freud had ferocious energy, worked day and night but his circle was broad including not just other well-known artists but writers, bluebloods, royals in England and Europe, drag queens, fashion models gamblers, bookies and gangsters like the Kray twins. Fierce, rebellious, charismatic, extremely guarded about his life, he was witty, mischievous and a womanizer. This brilliantly researched book begins with the Freuds' life in Berlin, the rise of Hitler and the family's escape to London in 1933 when Lucian was 10. Sigmund Freud was his grandfather and Ernst, his father was an architect. In London in his twenties, his first solo show was in 1944 at the Lefevre Gallery. Around this time, Stephen Spender introduced him to Virginia Woolf; at night he was taking Pauline Tennant to the Gargoyle Club, owned by her father and frequented by Dylan Thomas; he was also meeting Sonia Orwell, Cecil Beaton, Auden, Patrick Leigh-Fermor and the Aly Khan, and his muse was a married femme fatale, 13 years older, Lorna Wishart. But it was Francis Bacon who would become his most important influence and the painters Frank Auerbach and David Hockney, close friends. This is an extremely intimate, lively and rich portrait of the artist, full of gossip and stories recounted by Freud to Feaver about people, encounters, and work. Freud's art was his life—"my work is purely autobiographical"—and he usually painted only family, friends, lovers, children, though there were exceptions like the famous small portrait of the Queen. With his later portraits, the subjects were often nude, names were never given and sittings could take up to 16 months, each session lasting five hours but subjects were rarely bored as Freud was a great raconteur and mimic. This book is a major achievement, a tour de force that reveals the details of the life and innermost thoughts of the greatest portrait painter of our time. Volume I has 41 black and white integrated images, and 2 eight-page color inserts.

Jewel

Jewel
Author: Bret Lott
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781439121917
Available:
Release: 2011-11-15
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In the backwoods of Mississippi, a land of honeysuckle and grapevine, Jewel and her husband, Leston, are truly blessed; they have five fine children. When Brenda Kay is born in 1943, Jewel gives thanks for a healthy baby, last-born and most welcome. Jewel is the story of how quickly a life can change; how, like lightning, an unforeseen event can set us on a course without reason or compass. In this story of a woman's devotion to the child who is both her burden and God's singular way of smiling on her, Bret Lott has created a mother-daughter relationship of matchless intensity and beauty, and one of the finest, most indomitable heroines in contemporary American fiction.