Published posthumously, this wise and entertaining family history and memoir offers keen insight into the origins of Rebecca West and her work
Working on Family Memories for over twenty years, West set out to narrate the story of her mother’s, father’s and husband’s unique and talented families. As in her novels, the richly drawn characters of her heritage and childhood traverse a diverse landscape, from Scotland to Australia to Africa, encountering love, loss, and a panoply of challenges. Although fans will recognize many settings, characters, and themes from her novels, West’s exploration of her family stands on its own as an engaging narrative. Told with her compelling voice, West’s chronicles reflect not only the importance of family to identity, but to the way one relates to the larger world.
“Family Memories . . . is a translucent set of personal histories that will appeal to anyone with a curiosity about human nature.” —The New York Times
Dame Rebecca West (1892–1983) is one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists, journalists, and literary critics of the twentieth century. Uniquely wide-ranging in subject matter and breathtakingly intelligent in her ability to take on the oldest and knottiest problems of human relations, West was a thoroughly entertaining public intellectual. In her eleven novels, beginning with The Return of the Soldier, she explored topics including feminism, socialism, love, betrayal, and identity. West’s prolific journalistic works include her coverage of the Nuremberg trials for the New Yorker, published as A Train of Powder,and Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, her epic study of Yugoslavia. She had a son with H.G. Wells, and later married banker Henry Maxwell Andrews, continuing to write, and publish, until she died in London at age ninety.