The potter and award-winning author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes, memoirist Edmund de Waal, explains why Proust is at the heart of his family’s story.
By Edmund de Waal
I have just come back from Paris. The Hare with Amber Eyes, my attempted retracing of the history of my Jewish family over 200 years through a very large collection of very small objects, was being launched in France. I had a round of interviews and lectures to survive. The book’s new name, La Mémoire Retrouvée, could not be more Proustian and I was convinced this was a hostage to fortune. My very first radio interview was short. The interviewer was svelte and cross. You are an Englishman, she told me, and I believe you are actually a potter. Your book seems to concern Proust. How has this come about?