"… When a person who is close to you dies, in the first few weeks after his death he is as far from you, as far as a near person can ever be; only with the years does he become nearer, and then you can almost live with this person. This is what happened to me. Poland, Jewish life in Poland, is nearer to me now than it was then."
"Isaac Bashevis Singer,
Shop Talk by Philip Roth
"… Being deframed, so to speak, from everything familiar, makes for a certain fertile detachment and gives one new ways of observing and seeing … This perhaps is the great advantage, for a writer, of exile, the compensation for the loss and the formal bonus—that it gives you a perspective, a vantage point."
"Eva Hoffman, The New Nomads
I needed to be alone in Moscow, to have at least one day for myself, for my walking tour of Natasha personal sights. I did not want anybody next to me, from my past or from my present; I did not want to speak in any language; I needed silence. Sleep deprivation made me feel numb and cotton-thick inside, yet tense and bouncy on the outside, as if my skin was pulled tight, like a string of a guitar. I still couldn't believe I was in Moscow. Read Essay
The third extract from A LIFE AD-LIB (autobiography), Ariel Books, London, 2008.
The plane was three-quarters full, showing that the bribe I had paid to get a ticket, had been the ruse I suspected. A Russian forty-seat prop aircraft piloted by Belgians, it reached the desert township twice weekly. It was exhilarating to land there in the dry, pleasant heat, when my aim had nearly slipped up at that last hurdle. A tall youth in a headdress came to me in the arrivals hall. Describe my luggage and he would quickly find it and then take me to the best bargain hotel in town, owned by his relatives. Within fifteen minutes, all this happened. Things were beginning to go well, if I held my breath.Read Essay