SEVEN CIRCUMSTANCES

Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

The Hare with Amber Eyes – A Hidden Inheritance, by Edmund de Waal

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The hare with amber eyesThis is one of those rare things – an author’s first book that does not read like a first book. It is neither amateur nor self-conscious. Not only is it beautifully produced and printed, lovely to hold and look at, but De Waal’s style is smooth and engaging, with perfectly timed pauses and flashbacks. He takes the reader on a journey that is a cross between a detective novel, a family history and a study of art. Whenever the reader feels that all the similar names are becoming confusing and there seems to be no point to the search, he pauses, and reflects, and – echoing his own life – takes the story in another direction. This is about De Waal’s inheritance of a collection of Japanese netsuke, and his search to find out where they, and his family, came from. (Continue reading…)

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