Book of My Mother by Albert Cohen

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Synopsis

Shortly after Albert Cohen left France for London to escape the Nazis, he received news of his mother’s death in Marseille. Unable to mourn her, he expressed his grief in a series of moving pieces for La France libre, which later grew into Book of My Mother. Achingly honest, intimate, and moving, this love song is a tribute to all mothers. Cohen himself expressed, "I shall not have written in vain if one of you, after reading my hymn of death, is one evening gentler with his mother because of me and my mother."
 

About Albert Cohen

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Albert Cohen: Albert Cohen was born on the island of Corfu in 1895 and emigrated to France when he was five. He grew up in Marseilles and studied law at the University of Geneva, becoming a Swiss citizen. During the 1930s he devoted himself to writing and after the fall of France spent seven years in London, where he was a legal adviser to the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees. In 1947 he returned to Geneva and was in charge of a division of the International Refugee Organization. After 1952 he resumed his literary activities, determined to complete his novel-cycle begun with Solal (1930) and Mangeclous (1938) and ending with Belle du Seigneur (1968) and Les Valereux (1969). Belle du Seigneur was awarded the French Academy's Grand Prix du Roman. He died in 1981. Bella Cohen: Bella Cohen was born in London in 1919 of Romanian Jewish parents. During the war and the immediate postwar years she worked in London at the Free French Headquarters and at the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees. In 1947 she moved to Geneva, where she worked successively for the International Refugee Organization and the International Labour Office. She met Albert Cohen in London in 1943 and was his constant companion from 1947 until his death in 1981. She is her husband's literary executor.
 
Published April 10, 2012 by Archipelago. 180 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Although his attitudes toward his dead mother are complex, descriptions of her inner life dwell cartoonishly on motherly devotion: ""Like a good and faithful dog, she accepted her humble fate, which was to wait, alone in my flat and sewing for me."" In this intensely public forum, Cohen seems to ...

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