Mary-Kay Wilmers and Jeremy Harding will be embarking on an east-coast tour of the US this month. This is a rare opportunity for Americans to hear from Mary-Kay Wilmers, author of The Eitingons and editor of the London Review of Books, and Jeremy Harding, author of Mother Country and an LRB contributing editor, on the role of memoir in contemporary letters.
In a recent piece for the Boston Globe, reviewer Amanda Heller reads Jeremy Harding's memoir, Mother Country, as a comment on national character:
If the secrecy surrounding adoption in America has to do with sex, in England, just as revealing of national character, it has to do with class. Harding's quest soon led him to the stunning realization that his own origins were not the only ones his parents had deliberately obscured.
Visit the Boston Globe to read the full review.
The Nation calls Jeremy Harding's Mother Country "a delicate and absorbing account of Harding's investigation into the circumstances of his adoption" in a lovely new review of the book.
John Palattella, The Nation's books editor, goes on to describe how
with persistence and luck, Harding learns his natural mother's identity and discovers, contrary to his belief, that Margaret is alive and living in West London near the housing projects where she was pregnant with him. But the book's big surprise concerns [his adoptive mother] Maureen. From discussions with old friends of Margaret's, Harding learns that there were no Dalmatians or skiing trips for Maureen. Rather, there was a childhood in public housing and later a marriage (her first, and not to Jeremy's adoptive father) that catapulted her from a hardscrabble life into a world of leisure.
Visit the Nation to read the review in full.