Library reopening Monday 1 June 2020. See Frequently Asked Questions here
Gail Jones’ compelling sixth novel is framed loosely around the writing of Vladimir Nabokov. Jones astutely draws her inspiration from Nabokov’s impressionistic, deliberate memoir Speak, Memory. What results is a richly imagined meditation on the relationship between reading, speaking and living, the unstable effect of testimony and the long consequences of tragedy.
Cass Turner, a 26-year-old Australian, joins a cast of characters from various nationalities brought together by a shared admiration for Nabokov’s writing. Meeting in empty rooms throughout Berlin, they form precarious bonds through the sharing of stories. These stories of loss and trauma, replete with rich Nabokovian echoes, draw connections between personal tragedy and world events. A Guide to Berlin is a deeply affecting narrative about the remorseless effect of history on the human psyche.