Elisabeth Asbrink, Fiona Graham
A Metro book of the year
Interweaving the social, political, and personal, in 1947 Elisabeth Asbrink chronicles the year that ‘now’ began.
In 1947, production begins of the Kalashnikov, Christian Dior creates the New Look, Simone de Beauvoir writes The Second Sex, the CIA is set up, a clockmaker’s son draws up the plan that remains the goal of jihadists to this day, and a UN Committee is given four months to find a solution to the problem of Palestine.
In 1947, millions of refugees flee across Europe looking for new homes, among them Elisabeth Asbrink’s father.
In 1947, the forces that will go on to govern all our lives during the next 70 years first make themselves known.
`[Asbrink's] careful juxtaposition of disparate events highlights an underlying interconnect-edness and suggests a new way of thinking about the postwar era.' * The New Yorker * 'Utterly fascinating.' -- Rick O'Shea `Like an image created from a thousand juxtaposed pixels, Asbrink builds a cumulative picture of 1947 ... Less a work of history, her book is more like an ingeniously constructed novel.' * The Jewish Chronicle * `Asbrink works with great subtlety, allowing us to make our own judgments and trace any parallels or echoes with the present. Fiona Graham deserves credit for her remarkable translation.' * The National * `A skillful and illuminating way of presenting, to wonderful effect, the cultural, political, and personal history of a year that changed the world.' * Kirkus * `You get a piece of a life in your hands. There is something here that you seldom find in young Swedish prose ... It is beautifully told. Dark, but beautiful.' * Dagens Nyheter * `If you don't get your hands on this book you will miss out not only on a historically meaningful year, but also on a strong reading experience.' * Joenkoepings-Posten * `Elisabeth Asbrink has written a book about history that distinguishes itself from many other history books by its poetic beauty ... 1947 is as much an adept history book as it is a beautiful and well-written piece of fiction. Read it!' * Svenska Dagbladet * `An intriguing account of a number of significant events which occurred in a year when the world was beginning to come to terms with the fallout from the Second World War ... Asbrink deftly brings together the tangle, the mess, the aspirations, and the disappointments which characterized the period and which for her resonate personally through her family history.' -- Rosemary Ashton, author of One Hot Summer: Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858 `Gripping, overwhelming, and completed with such stylistic and factual consistency that you almost lose your breath. It does not happen often, but occasionally: good journalistic craftsmanship rises and becomes great literature.' * Sydsvenska Dagbladet * `This is history as a series of eclectic snapshots of events and episodes and people, from the Nuremberg Trials to the partition of India, during a year in which the world tried to redefine its hopes and come to terms with its failures: and it makes for fascinating, disquieting, lively, and often surprising reading.' -- Caroline Moorehead, author of Village of Secrets `Elisabeth Asbrink's lucid and vivid narrative exposes the reader to the anxious dilemmas of refugees, the calculations of lawyers in tribunals, the ennui at cocktail parties, the cynical strategies in negotiating halls, the devastating impacts on people's lives, and reveals how our modern era was shaped ... An outstanding work, history as it should be told.' -- Salil Tripathi, Chair of the PEN International Writers in Prison Committee, and author of The Colonel Who Would Not Repent `Extraordinarily inventive and gripping, a uniquely personal account of a single, momentous year.' -- Philippe Sands, author of East West Street `[A]n extraordinary achievement.' * The New York Times *
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