Sofia’s story: 1. The Memory of that Blue Line

This is, I hope, the first of several posts from Sofia. Our friendship goes back a couple of decades and we’ve kept in touch for much of the time. We were invited to her wedding, although we’d been out of the country for several years and so had never met her husband. But we were excited for her.

We had no idea, of course, not least because we lived 100s of miles apart, what was happening and so never saw them interact. It wasn’t until many years later that she was able to start talking more openly about what she was going through. But I’ll let her take over from here, not least because she writes so powerfully.

Sofia’s story will speak for itself.

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Giving voice to the whistleblower: Le Carré on cracking form in A Delicate Truth

There’s a key moment when the oleaginous Foreign Office chameleon, Giles Oakley, goads his protegé and A Delicate Truth‘s protagonist, Toby Bell, about what he should do with his qualms about government policy in the run up to Iraq War.

You’re exactly what the Guardian needs: another lost voice bleating in the wilderness. If you don’t agree with government policy, don’t hang around trying to change it. Jump ship. Write the great novel you’re always dreaming about. (p51) (more…)

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As If These Walls Had Tears: Reflections on Berlin’s Holocaust memorial

Apparently there were only 19 hours of sunshine in Berlin between 1st January and 22nd March – a record low. Such absolute greyness is oppressive. But in recent weeks, there have also been huge snowfalls. The result is an eerily monochrome world. Not ideal for taking sightseers’ photographs. But somehow appropriate for a visit to Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. (more…)

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