John Berger imagines a besieged community that finds transcendent hope in the pain and fragility, vulnerability and sorrow of daily existence.

A’ida’s lover Xavier has been imprisoned. The whole area is now under threat, as a faceless power inexorably encroaches from outside. Resolute, sensuous and tender, A’ida’s letters to the man she loves tell of daily events in the town, and the motley collection of inhabitants whose lives flow through hers. The smallest details - an intimate dance, a shared meal - assume a life-affirming significance, become acts of resistance against the forces that might otherwise extinguish them.

The Man Booker Prize 2008
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John Berger

John Berger

About the Author

John Berger was born in London and educated at St Edward's School, Oxford. In 1962, he left Britain permanently, to live in a small village in the French Alps.
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