Monday, September 02, 2013

Edmund de Waal: Poetic Potter?

Edmund de Waal
New York Times

The New York Times published a fascinating article, "Poetry Written in Porcelain" ( August 29, 2013), by Carol Vogel, on the British potter Edmund de Waal, who has published a bestselling family memoir, The Hare With Amber Eyes, which came out in 2010 and sold well in the US. In England, he is better known for his ceramics. I recall hearing of the book, though I didn't know what it was about, but the Times tells:
Chronicling the journey of 264 Japanese netsuke -- wood and ivory carvings of animals, plants and people, none larger than the palm of a hand -- that Mr. de Waal inherited from his great-uncle Iggie, "The Hare With Amber Eyes" is a sweeping story that begins in Paris in 1871 and progresses through five generations of the Ephrussi family, whose collection of netsuke made its way to Vienna, where it was thought to have been confiscated by the Nazis, and decades later ended up in London.
The book sounds rather unusual for a bestseller, but:
Jonathan Galassi, president of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, the book's American publisher, said . . . "It was a word-of-mouth thing . . . . It's been one of those books that people buy multiple copies of for friends and pass them from person to person."
The dream of everyone who putters around in literature . . . maybe. Here's the Amazon site.

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