The Memory Chalet

( 4 )

Overview

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

Final reflections on a happy life-from acclaimed historian Tony Judt.

Tony Judt's The Memory Chalet is a memoir unlike any other. Each essay brings the smallest details of personal experience into the larger frame of history. Judt's youthful love of a London bus route becomes a reflection on public civility. Food and trains and smells all come alive as Judt takes us from ...

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The Memory Chalet

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Overview

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

Final reflections on a happy life-from acclaimed historian Tony Judt.

Tony Judt's The Memory Chalet is a memoir unlike any other. Each essay brings the smallest details of personal experience into the larger frame of history. Judt's youthful love of a London bus route becomes a reflection on public civility. Food and trains and smells all come alive as Judt takes us from the postwar London of his childhood through Paris, Prague, and points east to New York, where he found his home. Judt brings his moral clarity and wit to bear on everything from fast cars to radical politics and, finally, the devastating illness that took his life. This book, composed when Judt was paralyzed and unable physically to write, found its shape in the ordered rooms of a Swiss Chalet of the mind: a warm refuge in the closing darkness of his final years.

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Editorial Reviews

Geoff Dyer
With its vivid haze of detail, The Memory Chalet is the work of a historian forced to do without many of the tools on which he had placed the greatest reliance. It used to be said—maybe still is—that in the instant of death, your life flashes before your eyes. By prolonging Judt's life the miracles of medical technology effectively extended the process of his dying over several grueling years. So what we have is that instant of compressed recollection expanded and expounded upon. It is the furthest cry imaginable—not a cry at all—from The Death of Ivan Ilyich. You can almost sense the soul of the historian leaving his body, leaving the still-living body of work behind.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594202896
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/11/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,181,350
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Until his death from ALS in 2010 Tony Judt was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor in European Studies at New York University. In 1996 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2007 a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. In 2009 Judt was awarded a Special Orwell Prize for Lifetime Achievement for his contribution to British Political writing. Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (2005) was a runner up for the 2006 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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