Category: History / European
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date: 13 February 1974
Number of pages: 240
Simon Weinberg is dead. And, on a November morning, six people gather at his funeral -- brothers and sisters, lovers, husbands and wives. Mourning allows them special privilege and, for a few hours, they are isolated in another world under a lingering sun, in the shadow of the deceased. Conversations After a Burial explores that ineffable moment of mourning, when the newly deceased is still almost palpable, the moment in which one can maintain the memory of a breath, the intense moment between the absence and the return to everyday existence, between loss and life.
The horror and glory of war has always fascinated me. Three outstanding books (of hundreds) are Siegfried Sassoon's Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, Nicholas Monsarrat's HMS Marlborough Will Enter Harbour, now sadly out of print, and The Last Enemy by Flying Officer X (Richard Hillary). (Kirkus UK)
Siegfried Sassoon was born in 1886 and educated at Clare College, Cambridge. He served in the trenches during the First World War, where he began to write the poems for which he is remembered. Despatched as 'shell-shocked' to hospital, he organised public protest against the war. His poetry initially met with little response, but his reputation grew steadily in the following decades. Apart from the War Poems of 1919, he published eight volumes of verse during his lifetime. But it is as a novelist and autobiographer that he is perhaps better known. Sassoon's semi-autobiographical trilogy, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (1928), Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930) and Sherston's Progress (1936), was outstandingly successful. He published several more volumes of autobiography, including Siegfried's Journey (1945), before his death in 1967.
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