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  • This Week’s Reading

    What We’re Loving: Roman Britain, Soccer, Karaoke

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    Thanks to the success of The Hare with Amber Eyes, Edmund de Waal is now a familiar name to readers. Less well-known is that of his grandmother, Elisabeth, a central character in that book and an author in her own right. Never published in her lifetime, Elisabeth de Waal’s The Exiles Return was recently rereleased by Persephone and, in this country, by Picador. The novel centers around exiles, like de Waal herself, returning to a vastly changed, postwar Vienna. It’s not always assured, but invariably interesting, often painful, highly absorbing, and a vivid picture of that moment in history—as well as the experience of displacement itself. —Sadie O. Stein

    Charlotte Higgins covers the arts beat for the Guardian, and is just the sort of reporter who makes Americans love that paper, with a love that is close to envy. She is witty, rangy, unapologetically goofy and erudite at once. All of these qualities inform her first book, Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain, a sort of travelogue and essay on Roman ruins in the British imagination. Whether Higgins is walking Hadrian’s Wall or handling the “curse tablets”—fourth-century voodoo spells—recovered from the mineral springs at Bath, she is the best possible company. I have been reading her only very late at night, just to make the journey last. —Lorin Stein Read More

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