The 5 books which influenced 'Letters to Camondo'...

By Edmund de Waal

By Edmund de Waal

In the silence of lockdown last year, I began writing a series of letters to Moïse de Camondo. I knew his house in the Rue de Monceau in Paris, had spent time in those golden rooms and in the archives high up in the attics. I needed to talk to him about memory and what it means to make a memorial for someone you love, about families. And collecting things and keeping them together. Here are the 5 books which influenced Letters to Camondo...

 

Patrick Modiano is a constant for me. I've chosen The Search Warrant. His books navigate Paris during the Occupation, the moral vicissitudes of survival, the lost stories with compelling spareness. Eric Karpeles' Paintings in Proust - I love this companion to Proust. It connects his multifarious references to artists and paintings and feels close to being present at one of Proust’s salons. Ann Sebba, Les Parisiennes, is a remarkable book in its scale and its intimacy and necessary reading for descriptions of Paris in the Occupation. Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise is a book whose presence as a witness to what was unfolding in 1940 makes it essential. And finally, WG Sebald's Austerlitz, my lodestar - painful and compelling. To write about memory is to write under the shadow of Sebald.

 

Letters to Camondo will be published in both the UK and France this April, 2021. 

Letters to Camondo

Edmund de Waal

£14.99 £13.94

Last year, in the silence of lockdown, I started to write to Moïse de Camondo. I knew his house in the Rue de Monceau in Paris, had spent time in those golden rooms and in the archives high up in the attics. I needed to talk to him about memory and what it means to make a memorial for someone you love, about families. And collecting things and keeping them together. These are my letters to him. 

The Search Warrant: Dora Bruder

Patrick Modiano

£9.99 £9.29

Patrick Modiano is a constant for me. His books navigate Paris during the Occupation, the moral vicissitudes of survival, the lost stories with compelling spareness.

Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to 'In Search of Lost Time'

Eric Karpeles

£19.95 £18.55

I love this companion to Proust. It connects Proust's multifarious references to artists and paintings and feels close to being present at one of his salons.

Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s

Anne Sebba

£9.99 £9.29

This is a remarkable book in its scale and its intimacy. Necessary reading for descriptions of Paris in the Occupation.

Suite francaise

Irene Nemirovsky

£9.99 £9.29

'Suite Francaise' is a book whose presence as a witness to what was unfolding in 1940 makes it essential.

Austerlitz

W. G. Sebald

£9.99 £9.29

This is the lodestar for me, painful and compelling. To write about memory is to write under the shadow of Sebald.

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