Kim Willsher writes on the French writer Didier Eribon's newest memoir Returning to Reims at The Guardian.
The book opens with Eribon’s return to Reims three decades later following the death of his father, a man he admits he despised: “I didn’t love him. I never had. We were basically strangers. There was nothing between us, nothing that held us together… at least that is what I believed, or struggled to believe; it had been my idea that one could live one’s life separate from one’s family, reinventing oneself and turning one’s back on the past and the people in it.”
However, going back, and slowly rekindling a relationship with his widowed mother as they reminisce over family photos leads him to think again about the world he had left: “I asked myself why I detested my father, why I hadn’t tried to see him before he died. And why I had never tried to understand him and his life, which was not easy.”
Read more at The Guardian