ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ushering in a New Age

1947: Where Now Begins by Elisabeth Åsbrink, translated from Swedish by Fiona Graham, New York: Other Press, 2017; $16.99 (Kindle edition).

In the subcontinent’s history, the year 1947 is a seminal marker. From a wider perspective, however, 1947 appeared a year the world seemed too fatigued after World War II; the task of remaking had scarcely begun. By way of argument, 1945 might be the more significant year, as Ian Buruma elucidates in his book, Year Zero: A History of 1945. This was a year marked by several changes: a time of hope, transformation, and new challenges. A year, Buruma’s own father, captured in Holland by the Nazis and forced to work as a labourer in Berlin, sought a return to “normalcy.”

Åsbrink’s non-fictional work, 1947: Where Now Begins, first published in Swedish in 2016 and now available in its English translation by Fiona Graham, is, like Buruma’s, set in the span of an entire year and is a work of equal ambition. For all its unvarying insistence on dates and facts, 1947: Where Now Begins, also has a surprising poignancy. In an earlier work, translated as And in the Vienna Woods, the Trees Remain (Elisabeth Åsbrink, Och i Wienerwald står träden kvar [Stockholm, Natur & Kultur, 2011]), Åsbrink had revealed the Nazi past of Ikea’s Swedish founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who died recently.

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Updated On : 11th Jun, 2018
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