Paul Bailey

Flash Backs

The Photographer at Sixteen


MacLehose Press 205pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

George Szirtes’s exceptional The Photographer at Sixteen is concerned mostly with the brief life of his mother, though he refrains from mentioning her name until halfway through the narrative. He affords his decent and honourable father the same respectful treatment: he is telling their stories backwards, discovering what kind of people they were in the tumultuous years before his birth. This method never smacks of contrivance. It is, rather, an act of love.

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