VOICES brings you lives of remarkable people.
The first title under our new imprint – To This Northern Shore
- 352 pages
- 198 x 130
- ISBN 9781904737636
From a small Scottish seaside town a man looks back on his life, from a boyhood in Algiers, through provincial France and Paris to Brighton, London and Oxford.
He acknowledges that he had to come to terms with being born and raised on the wrong side of history during the bloody tail-end of French colonialism. In so doing, he writes candidly about what it meant to be a pied-noir, exiled from Algeria, unwelcome in France, and about the indelible imprint a childhood in a time of war has left on him.
As a student in Paris, he was eye-witness to, and participant in, the May 1968 protests that almost toppled President de Gaulle’s government. He then moved to England, making it his home for almost half a century. This not-Algerian man from Algeria and not-quite-French man from France fell in love with Britain and its culture. He soon chose to take up British nationality.
This puts him in a privileged position to make perspicacious observations about the much commented on, but in his view often misread, relationship between the British and the French.
We follow his experiences as a teacher, to a long career in book publishing, from editor to director, ending up in the digital world of content providing, with life-affirming experiences as a volunteer psychotherapist along the way.
Following Brexit, there is a final move to Scotland as a more congenial environment. He finds himself attracted to the positive aspect of the bid for independence, and a potential reconnection with Europe.
The journey between what was then and what is now incorporates bitter-sweet coming-of-age stories, not a little hilarious humour, as well as tales of adventurous travel in Western Africa.
The author touches on themes that will resonate with many: the sensual pleasures of cooking, the romance of wine, the place of music in our lives, the need for friendship and conviviality, the importance of human resilience, especially in the face of ageing.
It is a story about embracing life fully and also reflecting on it, told with verve and lucidity, in clear and often elegiac language that will entertain, move and inspire.
An excellent storyteller.
The author’s sense of humour shines through.
The piece called “What’s in a name?” made me
laugh out loud on the train.
“Imagination has seized power” caught me up in the excitement of Paris 68. This is history made
The way in which the various themes, characters, locations and concerns continue to weave their
way through different sections is a delight.
Buy To This Northern Shore from our online shop or order from any good bookshop.