Breaking News in Books, March 2023

Odile Nicoloso’s Favourites

A LIFE by Simone VEIL Editions Stock 2009

At a time when a movie on her life was recently released in cinemas, it may be interesting to read Simone Veil’s autobiography. She recounts, without pathos, her deportation to Auschwitz, her painful experience of the Holocaust, her resilience after the loss of loved ones, and then her political commitment.
Magistrate, she became Minister of Health under the presidency of Giscard d’Estaing and passed the law legalising abortion. She then continued to carry out important work for the construction of Europe, becoming the first President of the European Parliament. She joined the Constitutional Council and then was elected to the French Academy. She has had an exceptional career, with a lucid and visionary look on many issues, such as health, hospitals, prisons, immigration, social security or pensions. She considered that the tackling of these questions was a “duty”.
She had a great concern for honesty and, above all was determined to move her country forward. Simone Veil was a free, independent woman who did not seek to please and had the courage of her ideas. Reluctant to conformism she will always be remembered as great woman.


BY THE SEA by Abdulrazak Gurnah
Nobel Prize for Literature in 2021
Bloomsbury Publishing (UK); The New Press (US)

A family affair. The two protagonists of this novel, from Zanzibar, will find themselves in the United Kingdom and recall their lives, especially the one of their father and grandfather. We could describe this novel as an oriental tale, resembling that of Scheherazade in the Thousand and one Night, as the characters entangled themselves before arriving at the final outcome.
It is a novel about memory, it reveals like a mirror how each one has his own version of the same facts with its own truth.
It is also a novel about exile and immigration. One of the characters will cross regions as different as the GDR, East Africa, before arriving in the United Kingdom where he becomes a writer. The second character, mistreated in his own country, will ask for asylum.
The book allows us to better understand English-speaking East Africa, and also the territories close to the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Gulf and Southeast Asia where people have been trading with one another for centuries.|

Odile Nicoloso

Galerie photo