Finished reading THE HOUSE OF TWENTY THOUSAND BOOKS by Sasha Abramsky. Published in 2014 this is a grandson's memoir, a labour of love, about his bibliophile grandfather Chimen Abramsky (1916-2010).
Born in Tsarist Russia, son of a renowned Rabbi, Chimen migrated to Britain, schooled himself in languages and history, and became Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of London. He was a voracious reader with photographic memory, and also a bookseller and collector.
Chimen Abramsky's London house contained one of England's most important private libraries. For a few decades it was one of leftwing London's great salons. Up to 1958 Chimen was a member of the British Communist Party. His extraordinary collection totalled about 20,000 volumes including rare books hundreds of years old.
Excluding kitchen and bathroom, every room was crammed with books from floor to ceiling. Books on tabletops too, and in closets, cupboards and wardrobes. It was a working library that Abramsky accessed for essays, articles and books that he wrote.

Finished reading "CUBA DIARIES: An American Housewife in Havana" by Isadora Tattlin. From 1995 to 1998 a foreign energy consultant was assigned to Cuba. He was accompanied by his American wife and their two children. It was a period of economic austerity caused by the collapse of the Eastern European communist bloc that had subsidized Cuba for three decades. The author of this book kept diaries of her sojourn in Cuba.

Finished reading "TRINIDAD NOIR: The Classics", an anthology of short stories and poems edited by Earl Lovelace. It features Trinidadian writers by birth, passport and domicile. CLR James, Sam Selvon, Eric Roach, VS Naipaul, Michael Anthony, Harold Sonny Ladoo, Derek Walcott, Lawrence Scott, Willi Chen, Robert Antoni, Ismith Khan, Elizabeth Nunez, Wayne Brown, Jennifer Rahim, Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw, Barbara Jenkins, Sharon Millar and Shani Mootoo. There is a story written by Earl Lovelace too.

When I was 16 years old I read Earl Lovelace's first novel "While Gods Are Falling" that won the British Petroleum-sponsored Trinidad and Tobago Independence Literary Prize in 1962. Lovelace later won more literary prizes for his novels, poems and plays. He never emigrated from Trinidad and, at age 83, is still writing.

"Trinidad Noir: The Classics" was published in 2017.



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