The People in the Photo by Hélène Gestern

The People in the Photo

Hélène Gestern

If you've ever been moved by old family photographs where you recognise a parent but don't know who anyone else is, you'll love this elegant exploration of a past which is also personal. Two characters with no connection find out about themselves as much as their families as they exchange letters and emails in a flowing story.

Extract

The photograph has captured in its chemistry the blinding summer light falling vertically, flooding every pale surface it touches - the dress, the table, the little boy's cap. The image has the torpid, intense flavour of a summer afternoon, as confirmed by the words written on the back in Cyrillic ... Moreover, seeing her in profile, it is difficult to ignore the fact that Nataliya Zabvina is at least eight months pregnant.

Parallels
  • The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
  • The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns
  • Who Do You Think You Are - tv series