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Writers on Exile

edited by Marc Robinson

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-571-19829-5
Publisher: Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 The 20th century didn't invent exile, but it certainly visited that state on more people than ever before, so the time seems ripe for a collection of various writers' thoughts on both political banishment and voluntary expatriation. Robinson (The Other American Drama, not reviewed) organizes his anthology into six sections, beginning with ``Definitions'' (Joseph Brodsky suggests that all exiles, from Gastarbeiters to political refugees, are ``running away from the worse toward the better'') and ending with ``Returns and New Departures,'' in which Ruth Prawer Jhabvala writes about ``becoming European again'' after years of living in India. Selections by Petrarch, Seneca, and Mme. de StaĆ¢l provide historical perspective, but the emphasis is on exiles of the past 100 years, from Thomas Mann, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Harry Crosby to Czeslaw Milosz, Eva Hoffman, and Vassily Aksyonov.