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Review: Tell it to a Stranger, by Elizabeth Berridge

Pages: 174

Original date of publication: 1947-9

My edition: 2000 (Persephone)

Why I decided to read: heard about it through the Persephone catalogue

How I acquired my copy: Persephone subscription, September 2010

Tell It to a Stranger is a collection of short stories hat Elizabeth Berridge wrote during and after WWII. All the stories deal with the war in some way, but they focus more specifically on the relationships between people and the way they deal with the war. The stories reflect many of the emotions that people experienced during the war, as many people in England were displaced. Some of these stories are sad, some happy, but they are all moving in their own way.

Elizabeth Berridge wrote the Afterword to this collection, and she shares with the reader some of her own personal stories about the war, some of them serendipitous. And some of the stories in this book are based on real things that happened to Elizabeth Berridge—like the character in the first story, “Snowstorm,” she was billeted out for a time while she was pregnant and the raids were going on in London. Elizabeth Berridge’s husband was apparently convinced that writers had a major part to play in the war: “Do we ever really know…the precise nature of what we have gone through until our writers recreate it for us?” Which Berridge does exceptionally well in this collection.

This is Persephone no. 15. Endpaper below:


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