Emma Reyes - The Book of Emma Reyes - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781474606622
    • Publication date:24 Aug 2017

The Book of Emma Reyes

A Memoir in Correspondence

By Emma Reyes

  • Hardback
  • £14.99

The extraordinary, posthumously published memoir in letters of a Colombian artist whose writing was championed by Gabriel García Márquez

'The moment I finished this memoir I read it again. No other book I've ever read has left me so deeply involved with its author' DIANA ATHILL

'Astonishing - I read it in a single gulp' DEBORAH MOGGACH

'A jewel of a book' NINA STIBBE

'Emma's letters remind me what reading and writing are for' LOUISA YOUNG

* * * *

This astonishing memoir of a childhood lived in extreme poverty in Latin America was hailed as an instant classic when first published in Colombia in 2012, nine years after the death of its author, who was encouraged in her writing by Gabriel García Márquez. Comprised of letters written over the course of thirty years, it describes in vivid, painterly detail the remarkable courage and limitless imagination of a young girl growing up with nothing.

Emma was an illegitimate child, raised in a windowless room in Bogotá with no water or toilet and only ingenuity to keep her and her sister alive. Abandoned by their mother, she and her sister moved to a convent housing 150 orphan girls, where they washed pots, ironed and mended laundry, scrubbed floors, cleaned bathrooms, and sewed garments and decorative cloths for church. Illiterate and knowing nothing of the outside world, Emma escaped at age nineteen, eventually coming to have a career as an artist and to befriend the likes of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Far from self-pitying, the portrait that emerges from this clear-eyed account inspires awe at the stunning early life of a gifted writer whose talent remained hidden for far too long.

Biographical Notes

Emma Reyes (1919-2003) was a Colombian painter and intellectual whose letters were first published in 2012. She grew up in extreme poverty and escaped a convent for orphan girls at age nineteen. Illiterate, she travelled wherever she could and dedicated most of her life to painting and drawing, slowly breaking through as an artist and forging friendships with some of the most distinguished European and Latin American artists, writers and intellectuals of the twentieth century. She lived in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Jerusalem, Washington and Rome before settling in Paris. The year she passed away, the French government named her a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781474606592
  • Publication date: 24 Aug 2017
  • Page count: 192
  • Imprint: W&N
The moment I finished this memoir I read it again - one simply can't abandon Emma. And I've been speculating ever since about how she made it once she'd escaped her terrible childhood. One is deeply grateful to know as a fact - an almost inconceivable fact - that she triumphed, but longs to know how. No other book I've ever read has left me so deeply involved with its author, and so grateful for that involvement — DIANA ATHILL
Unadulteratedly good, interesting and important. Emma's letters remind me what reading and writing are for — LOUISA YOUNG
What an astonishing book - I read it in a single gulp. Emma Reyes had a childhood of staggering deprivation but her humour and resilience shine through, and suddenly we have a modern classic — DEBORAH MOGGACH
A jewel of a book. Emma is a mesmerising storyteller and her letters had me completely gripped from beginning to end — NINA STIBBE
As poetic as it is horrific. The young Emma injects magic into the realism and vice versa - not for nothing is Reyes a compatriot of Márquez . . . an act of freedom both intimate and epic — Ed Vuilliamy, OBSERVER
Startling and astringently poetic . . . It's not hard to see what Márquez admired in [Reyes'] writing . . . she has a similar gift for relating extraordinary moments with a straight face, making them seem even more otherworldly. The most sophisticated aspect of this book is just how meticulously Reyes maintains the perspective of a child throughout . . . moving . . . potent and, against all odds, even lovely — THE NEW YORK TIMES
A mesmerising account full of the most striking details. Reading her words pitches the reader head first into a wondrous, terrifying world — Eithne Farry, SUNDAY EXPRESS
The memoir, in letters, of the Colombian artist Emma Reyes, takes you from her birth in a Bogota slum to the artistic circles of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It's totally transporting — Sam Baker, THE POOL
An incredible biography by any measure, but the book's most startling element is Reyes's clear-sighted, unsentimental remembrance of her difficult childhood — PARIS REVIEW
Reading the letters collected in this striking memoir, it is hard not to keep returning to the fact that their author was completely illiterate until her late teens...So eloquently does Reyes depict herself as a flawed witness to her own life that what emerges, paradoxically, is the portrait of a brilliantly assured observer and writer. It is Reyes's natural talent, even more than her story, that makes The Book of Emma Reyes remarkable — TLS
Some works of art feel more unlikely, more miraculous than others, and Emma Reyes's remarkable epistolary memoir is one of them. I don't think I've read many books of such power and grace, or that pack such an emotional wallop in so short a space. The very fact that this book exists is extraordinary. Everything about it . . . is astonishing — DANIEL ALARCÓN, from the Introduction
Orion

The Hour of Separation

Katharine McMahon
Authors:
Katharine McMahon

March 1939Christa is the only child of middle-class parents, living a protected life in the London suburbs. She longs for adventure and to break free from the life expected of her. Estelle is the headstrong daughter of a heroine of the Resistance - a woman who disappeared during the Great War, supposedly killed while she was helping two airmen to escape. One of those airmen was Christa's father. But when Estelle goes looking for answers about the mother she never really knew, she finds something unexpected. An intense friendship grows between the two young women and Estelle invites Crista to spend the summer at De Eikenhove, the family farm in Belgium. During that long hot summer, passions run high. Christa meets Estelle's two brothers - steady, dependable golden-haired Pieter and his tempestuous brooding brother Robbe. When war breaks out Christa is forced to return home, but not before she has done something she will regret for the rest of her life. Christa returns to England a changed woman. As the conflict escalates, Estelle decides to follow in her mother's footsteps and joins the Resistance. But what she doesn't know is that her mother was betrayed by someone close to them at De Eikenhove, and that person may betray them once more...(p) 2018 Orion Publishing Group

W&N

Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Rebecca Front
Authors:
Rebecca Front

People are odd; we do weird things. Even the most predictable of us sometimes defy expectations. Other times life plays tricks on us. We find ourselves characters in a farce. As an award-winning actor and comic writer, Rebecca Front has always been fascinated by life's little quirks. Impossible Things Before Breakfast is a collection of true stories about surprising turns of events, bizarre misunderstandings and improbable life lessons. We learn, among other things, how to prepare for a role as a villainous 'she-mountain' when you're five-foot-four, why beach holidays require military-precision planning, and the joys of wearing a cape. Combining elegant writing, wry humour and genuine insight, this brilliant new collection is about lifting the lid on ordinary life and feasting on the impossible.

W&N

Waiting for the Albino Dunnock

Rosamond Richardson
Authors:
Rosamond Richardson
Trapeze

The Electricity of Every Living Thing

Katherine May
Authors:
Katherine May

In August 2015, Katherine May set out to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. She wanted to understand why she had stopped coping with everyday life; why motherhood had been so overwhelming and isolating, and why the world felt full of inundation and expectations she can't meet. Setting her feet down on the rugged and difficult path by the sea, the answer begins to unfold. It's a chance encounter with a voice on the radio that sparks a realisation that she has Asperger's Syndrome. The Electricity of Every Living Thing tells the story of the year in which Katherine comes to terms with her diagnosis. It leads to a re-evaluation of her life so far - a kinder one, which finally allows her to be different rather than simply awkward, arrogant or unfeeling. The physical and psychological journeys become inextricably entwined, and as Katherine finds her way across the untameable coast, she also finds the way to herself. This book is a life-affirming exploration of wild landscapes, what it means to be different and, above all, how we can all learn to make peace within our own unquiet minds.

Trapeze

The Most Beautiful

Mayte Garcia
Authors:
Mayte Garcia

In The Most Beautiful, a title inspired by the hit song Prince wrote about their legendary love story, Mayte Garcia for the first time shares the deeply personal story of their relationship and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together: from their unconventional meeting backstage at a concert (and the long-distance romance that followed), to their fairy-tale wedding (and their groundbreaking artistic partnership), to the devastating losses that ultimately dissolved their romantic relationship for good. Throughout it all, they shared a bond more intimate than any other in Prince's life. No one else can tell this story or can provide a deeper, more nuanced portrait of Prince--both the famously private man and the pioneering, beloved artist--than Mayte, his partner during some of the most pivotal personal and professional years of his career. The Most Beautiful is a book that will be returned to for decades, as Prince's music lives on with generations to come.

W&N

The Reading Cure

Laura Freeman
Authors:
Laura Freeman
W&N

Making a Noise

John Tusa
Authors:
John Tusa
Trapeze

Too Scared To Cry

Maggie Hartley
Authors:
Maggie Hartley
W&N

Heal Me

Julia Buckley
Authors:
Julia Buckley
Trapeze

Dogs With Jobs

Laura Greaves
Authors:
Laura Greaves
Orion

Get Me the Urgent Biscuits

Sweetpea Slight
Authors:
Sweetpea Slight

'A sparkling memoir full of charm and wit' NINA STIBBE 'Anyone who loves the theatre will love this book' ZOË WANAMAKER At eighteen, after moving to London with dreams of becoming an actress, an impressionable girl who paints freckles on her face begins work experience in a West End theatre company. In between mail-outs and making cups of coffee she meets the formidable producer Thelma Holt. Within a fortnight Thelma has stolen her, cancelled her audition for RADA, sent her to evening classes to learn to type, organised a minuscule salary and renamed her. From that moment she becomes Sweetpea. Her days are spent in an eccentric office where Alan Rickman or Vanessa Redgrave might pop in at any moment. Evenings are filled with the adrenaline of an opening-night performance or the chatter of a smart restaurant where casting for the next production is discussed. Existing somewhere between glamour and penury, Sweetpea finds herself surrounded by dynamic personalities and struggling to trust her own creative instincts. Over the years her apprenticeship takes in unusual demands, misbehaving actors, divinely inspired directors and a hot-air balloon ride with British theatre's finest. GET ME THE URGENT BISCUITS is a keenly observed memoir about the vanishing world of London's West End in the 1980s and 1990s, in which a young woman is swept into the orbit of a theatrical impresario. Shrewd, poignant and irresistibly funny, above all it is a coming-of-age story about the search for independence and an ode to the beguiling nature of theatre.Read by Sweetpea Slight(p) Orion Publishing Group 2017

Orion Spring

Calm

Fearne Cotton
Authors:
Fearne Cotton

THE FOLLOW UP TO THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER, HAPPY: FINDING JOY IN EVERY DAY AND LETTING GO OF PERFECT'Calm for me is less about thought and much more about feeling. It is a stillness that allows my lungs to expand like hot air balloons. It is an acceptance of the noise around me. It is a magic alchemy that might last a second or a whole day, where I feel relaxed yet aware; still yet dynamic; open yet protected . . . '***In today's always-on world, for many of us it seems impossible to relax, take time out or mute the encircling 'noise'. It is easy to feel trapped in this frenzied state of mind: we are surrounded by negative stories in the press, weighed down by pressures from work, family life or school and subject to constant scrutiny under the all-seeing eye of social media. As a result, mental health illnesses are on the rise in every age group, and more of us than ever before yearn for silence, peace and calm.CALM is Fearne's mission to find the simple things that can inch us away from stress and over to the good stuff. Including expert advice, conversations with wise friends from all walks of life, easy ideas to try, activities to complete - and the little things that have made a difference to her own, sometimes-bumpy life - this book is a friendly reminder that Calm is a place that exists in us all, we just have to find our way back to it.

W&N

My Notebook

Eric Cantona
Authors:
Eric Cantona

On the field or off, Eric 'The King' Cantona has always been known as an artist. Passionate about painting and photography from a very young age, he more recently took to writing, drawing and sketching out his thoughts in small Moleskine diaries. This book is the reproduction of his notebooks.Through these never-before-seen drawings, in his faux-naive style, Eric Cantona questions every aspects of the world around us - whether it's love, death, absurdity or society. With his trademark wit and wordplay, Cantona interrogates our paradoxes and contradictions, and the absurdity of the world as only he knows how.These notebooks are as funny as they are poetic and philosophical. But foremost, they're an ode to living, loving, sharing and contemplation.

W&N

Goodbye Europe

Various
Authors:
Various

The perfect read this Christmas. Spend time with some of your favourite writers and artists in this truly unique collection which spans everything from nature, art, language, food, music and movies, to war, literature, driving, nudity, geography, smoking and nature.Featuring pieces of exceptional quality from some of our most treasured novelists, historians, journalists, poets and artists, including: Jessie Burton, Richard Herring, Alain de Botton, Tom Bradby, Val McDermid, Matt Haig, Afua Hirsch, Lionel Shriver, Sarah Perry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ian Rankin, Owen Jones, Mark Kermode, Robert Macfarlane, Chris Riddell, Former Prime Minister Jim Hacker and many more.Goodbye Europe is not a book about politics - it is a book about what makes us British, and what makes us European. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the times we live in, our relationship with the continent, and ourselves.* * * * *INCLUDES PIECES BY:Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Tom Bradby, Jessie Burton, Ben Collins (aka The Stig), Colonel Tim Collins, Robert Crampton, Adam Dant, Alain de Botton, Kate Eberlen, Matt Frei, Nicci French, Simon Garfield, Jonathan Lynn writing as Former Prime Minister Jim Hacker, Matt Haig, Richard Herring, Jennifer Higgie, Afua Hirsch, Owen Jones, Oliver Kamm, Alex Kapranos, Mark Kermode, Hari Kunzru, Olivia Laing, Marie Le Conte, Amy Liptrot, Robert Macfarlane, Henry Marsh, Val McDermid, Ian McEwan, Hollie McNish, Kate Mosse, Jenni Murray, Sarah Perry, Ian Rankin, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Chris Riddell, Andrew Roberts, Will Self, David Shrigley, Lionel Shriver, Sunny Singh, Ece Temelkuran, Rob Temple, Bee Wilson, Sarah Winman

W&N

The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983–1992

Tina Brown
Authors:
Tina Brown
Trapeze

See Ya Later

Arron Crascall
Authors:
Arron Crascall
Orion Spring

Happy: The Journal

Fearne Cotton
Authors:
Fearne Cotton
W&N

I Must Belong Somewhere

Jonathan Dean
Authors:
Jonathan Dean

'An extraordinary family tale of survival' Sunday TimesHuman and curious . . . an admirable family memoir of migration' GuardianJonathan Dean's great-grandfather, David Schapira, lived a life of epic achievement and epic suffering. Forced to flee Ukraine at the outbreak of World War I, he was blinded fighting for his adopted country then survived - just - the concentration camp that country later sent him to. In between he found love and laughter in Vienna, and became the first Austrian lawyer to train using braille - something no Briton would do until the new century dawned. Dean's grandfather, Heinz Schapira, was also a refugee. Aged 16, he said goodbye to his parents and embarked on a nail-biting journey to Britain, to escape his fate as an Austrian Jew. The prejudice he faced and assimilation he achieved are laid out in the pages of his diary, pages filled with pain and joy, surprising observations and irrepressible humour. But this is no ordinary family history. As Dean visits the places which changed the course of his family tree - Vienna, Cologne, Ukraine - he finds history repeating itself. He talks to refugees from the Middle East, people who left their homes and families at the same age as David and Heinz. And he observes the warning signs: the bigoted excesses of Brexit Britain, the rise of the Far Right in Austria, the backlash against refugees in Germany. By viewing these contemporary experiences through the prism of his family history - and vice versa - Dean creates an impassioned, profoundly timely study of what it means to be a refugee, to be European and, ultimately, to be British.

W&N

Close But No Cigar

Stephen Purvis
Authors:
Stephen Purvis
Orion

Happy

Fearne Cotton
Authors:
Fearne Cotton

"This book is a way to release what's going on inside your head and to keep heading towards the good stuff. The simple stuff. The stuff that's going to really hit up that happiness on a deep and nourishing level. Whether you dip into these pages every now and then when you feel you need it, or use it daily as a positive exercise, I hope it brings you much relief, joy and calm. Amen to the pen." - Fearne Cotton For many of us, life can feel like it's moving too fast with pressure bearing down on us from all sides - whether that's from school or work, family or social media. As a result, we find ourselves frazzled, lost and - too often - feeling blue.It's a subject close to Fearne's heart. Drawing on her own experiences and including expert advice, HAPPY offers practical ways of finding joy each and every day. Happiness isn't a mountain to climb, it's just one foot in front of the other on the path of life, and here you'll find little steps that will help make the differences that count. With workbook elements to help you start and end the day well; get in touch with your creative side; and find peace through written exercises, simple practical ideas and visualisations, these are daily tricks and reminders to help you unlock that inner happiness.Written and read by Fearne Cotton(p) 2017 Orion Publishing Group