------ Isabel HUGGAN
ISABEL HUGGAN (b. 1943, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada), is a prize-winning Canadian author of fiction and personal essays.
She and her husband made the choice to retire near Anduze where they have now lived for some years. "Our experiences while restoring an old mas will be familiar to many ex-patriates who have settled here in similar circumstances, and of course the experience of "making a home away from home" is common to all of us who are living outside our home country.
The Elisabeth Stories (1984) won Canada's prestigious Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction in 2004.
It is a memoir which slides over into fiction: the book ends with three short stories that are clearly drawn from the life of the author. "The memoir section of the book concerns my life since I left Canada 20 years ago when my husband's work took us abroad -- to Kenya, France and the Philippines."
Belonging Home: Away from Home
Belonging is pure pleasure to read -- entertaining, beautifully written, laced with gentle humour and perceptive insights. Shifting from memoir to fiction, it focuses on the commonplace experiences underlying our lives that are the true basis for storytelling. At the book's core is Isabel Huggan's old house in rural France, from where she contemplates the real meaning of "home," and the mysterious manner in which memory gives substance to ordinary things around us. With a light touch, she brings to life the people she has met in her travels from whom valuable lessons have been learned.
Isabel Huggan writes with the candour and compassion that made her earlier books so well loved, and here she speaks even more clearly from the heart.
Belonging is an intimate conversation between the narrator who needs to examine her life because it has not turned out as she expected, and her readers, who will find their own concerns illuminated in surprising ways.
Slowly, a pattern emerges as certain motifs become apparent: happiness, friendship, landscape, language, heartache. As the book draws to a close, readers will understand the fictional character who says, "There is nothing in our lives that doesn't fit."
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