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Showing posts from February, 2016

'30 for 30': White Teeth

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Fictionalising real life

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My arbitrary reading challenge threw up a real gem this week. I've just finished reading Emmanuel Carrere's Other Lives But Mine, and found it an incredibly moving read.

Although it's shelved in the fiction section of the library, the book is more of a memoir than it is a novel. Carrere was present in Sri Lanka when the tsunami hit in 2004 and, although his own family survived, the young child of a friend was swept away by the waters. At the same time, his partner's sister was dying of cancer back home in France. The book deals with these two tragedies, how they affected the friends and families, and what it took for them to recover.

The title, Other Lives But Mine, suggests that this is not Carrere's story, but he is as much a part of this novel as those he writes about. He admits to being someone who has always felt separate from love, and the process of finding out about these lives and the effect of loss does encourage him to reassess his own life and relationshi…