The Durrells of Corfu: Exclusive Edition (Paperback)Michael Haag (author)
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A Waterstones Exclusive Edition Paperback
Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month for (May 2017)
In My Family and Other Animals Gerry gives the impression that the family came to Corfu almost on a whim, selling up their house and sailing into the unknown to escape rainy summer days in England and stuffed-up noses. But what he does not mention… was the tragedy. They laughed and wrote beautifully of their island idyll, but nobody mentioned what had really brought them to the island - the sudden death of their father in India, the devastating effect it had on their mother, and the yearning to restore something lost.
The Durrell family are immortalised in Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals and its ITV adaptation, The Durrells. But what of the real life Durrells? Why did they go to Corfu in the first place - and what happened to them after they left?
The real story of the Durrells is as surprising and fascinating as anything in Gerry's books, and Michael Haag, with his first-hand knowledge of the family, is the ideal narrator, drawing on diaries, letters and unpublished autobiographical fragments.
The Durrells of Corfu describes the family's upbringing in India and the crisis that brought them to England and then Greece. It recalls the cast of genuine, colourful characters they encountered on Corfu - biologist and poet Theodore Stephanides, the taxi driver Spiro Halikiopoulos and the prisoner Kosti - as well as the visit of American writer Henry Miller.
Looking beyond their island adventure, Haag has unearthed the story of Margo's and Larry's last-minute escape, relating how the threat of war forced the Durrells to leave Corfu as well as Margo's daring return to the island, determined to stand with her island friends, and Larry's perilous escape by sea to Alexandria in Egypt. An extended epilogue looks at the emergence of Larry as a world famous novelist, and Gerry as a naturalist and champion of endangered species, as well as the lives of the rest of the family, their friends and other animals. The book is illustrated with family photos from the Gerald Durrell Archive, many of them reproduced here for the first time.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
"Haag adds sadness and depth to a story that is superficially golden and charming… the complications and grievances only make you admire the Durrells more. What a family and what lives well lived." - The Sunday Times
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