Publication Date: 15-Nov-11 | ISBN: 9781844718788 | Trim Size: 198 x 129 mm | Extent: 64pp | Format: Hardback
UK & International Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
The Angel of Salonika is a haunting, multi-layered book about place, language and remembrance, and the way they make us who we are. Winner of the Crashaw Prize, it is a first collection of poetry by a bestselling memoir writer, broadcaster and British university professor who grew up in communist Yugoslavia but then moved to London.
The collection begins and ends with the same summer in Macedonia thirty years ago, and tells the story of a vanished Balkan homeland but it also describes learning to live, love – and write poetry — in a new language. Goldsworthy’s poems are both melancholy meditations on a lost world, deeply permeated with a Chekhovian feeling of transience, and witty and often acerbic celebrations of London here and now — of its rivers of humanity, the secrets lurking behind its terraces, in its churches, mosques and temples, its street markets and railway stations, and almost empty restaurants during late afternoons. This is a well-travelled book, packed with memory and incantation, conjuring landscapes and people. It is beautifully written and, like all great poetry, it forms an ideal, entertaining companion.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Summer on Pelion; Notebooks; Black Linen; The Windfalls; He Stands So Thin and Waits; Paperweight Snowstorm; West London Afternoon; Departure Board; A Winter Postcard from Istanbul; Lullaby; Yugoslav Nocturnes; Three Eighteen; Venice, Intermezzo; Rebecca in Macedonia; Out of the Blue; The Birthday Concert; Germany; The Angel of Salonika; Afterword
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“The Angel of Salonika moves on the shadowy borders where the wounds of separation turn into the scars of loss. European in sensibility, elegiac in tone, these poems mark the arrival of a welcome new voice in English poetry.” —
“Vesna Goldsworthy bursts into the poetry world fully formed. Her poems are ravishing meditations, written with deftness and assurance. The poems are cultured in the best way and stem from a deep engagement with history, held in balance with love and loss. Wonderful.” —
“These poems are lovely. Freighted with history and personal experience, they move with great clarity and control and are gorgeously precise… Reminiscent of Cavafy.” —
Vesna Goldsworthy, born in Belgrade in 1961, is the author of two widely translated books, Inventing Ruritania: the Imperialism of the Imagination (Yale, 1998); and a memoir, Chernobyl Strawberries (Atlantic, 2005), describing her youth in communist Yugoslavia and emergence as a Serbian poet. Serialized in The Times and read by Vesna herself as Book of the Week on BBC Radio Four, it has been a bestseller in several European languages. She lives in West London with her husband and young son.