The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal - review by Diana Athill

Diana Athill

Following The Netsuke

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance


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Edmund de Waal first saw the 264 ‘netsuke’ in the Japanese house of his great-uncle Iggy (Ignace Ephrussi). This collection of tiny carvings, made to dangle from the sashes of Japanese gentlemen, came to him later, fifteen years after Iggy’s death, from Jiro, who had loved Iggy and lived with him. Edmund already knew that the netsuke had a long connection with the Ephrussi family, but he was gripped by a need to know more. 

I want to know what the relationship has been with this wooden object that I am rolling between my fingers – hard and tricky and Japanese – and where it has been … I want to walk into each room where this object has lived, to feel the

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