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Reviews

  • Consistently illuminating... excellently illustrated... De Waal's excavation of the meanings of assimilation is considered, compassionate and appreciative of its costs... he is a wise guide to people and things that are dispersed and are collected... This book is a wonderful tribute to a family and to an idea

    Nicholas Wroe, Guardian
  • Letters to Camondo immerses you in another age - one as sharply torn with rifts and bigotry, political uncertainty and changing fortunes as our own - but also a time of grace and the deliberate cultivation of pleasure... de Waal creates a dazzling picture of what it means to live graciously

    Nilanjana Roy, Financial Times
  • Letters to Camondo... is subtle and thoughtful and nuanced and quiet. It is demanding but rewarding. It will make you think differently about trunks in the attic and it will make you read old letters with new eyes

    Laura Freeman, The Times
  • I was deeply moved... [de Waal] has found a way to meditate on exile, migration and polarisation that feels painfully relevant

    Johanna Thomas-Corr, Sunday Times
  • This is a marvellous book, elegant, tender, loving, appreciative, disturbing, a reminder of both the fragility and resilience of high culture, indeed civilisation

    Allan Massie, Scotsman
  • A slim elegant volume of beautifully written letters

    Louise Carpenter, The Times
  • Letters to Camondo tells de Waal's version of the Camondo story... layers of memories, hopes, fears embedded in the Musée Camondo brought alive...remarkable

    Jackie Wullschläger, Financial Times
  • Moving... beautifully produced... I visited the Musee Nissim de Camondo some dozen years ago. Now I long to go back

    Gillian Tindall, Literary Review
  • De Waal's ability to conjure up the personality of a character long dead through his possessions is a joy... A moving picture of the Jewish condition in Europe, always ready for flight once the scapegoating begins again, is made starkly apparent... In de Waal's hands objects stand for much bigger truths, of questions of loss and injustice

    Oliver Basciano, ArtReview
  • Enchanting... the prose is immaculately polished. [Edmund de Waal's] intelligence and scholarship are fastidious, his sensibility quivers like the wings of a hummingbird

    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

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