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In this marvellous book, Raimond Gaita discusses ideas about love and hatred, good and evil, guilt and forgiveness. Moving, wise and inspiring, A Common Humanity explores personal, political and philosophical ideas about the kind of society and the sort of public conversation we might have in the twenty-first century.
‘Raimond Gaita’s insights are original and his prose is as eloquent as it is affecting.’ Economist, Books of the Year, 2000
‘As Gaita himself counsels in the book, some of the essays need to be read slowly and more than once to grasp their meaning. Rather than this being a chore, it’s a deeply rewarding experience. Gaita’s writing is lucid and uncluttered by sentimentality, but still it manages to be both warm and inclusive.’
‘Interestingly, I think the essays achieve a greater degree of poetry than the first book. This second one needs to be read at a slower pace and is all the more rewarding for that … the writing continually transcends the original account … This extraordinary book set me reflecting upon my own residency in the world – my own decency, condescension, loves and truths.’
‘“An Unassuageable Longing” explains Christine and makes her real: she is finally chronicled with love and rigour, as was Romulus … In a book full of extraordinary revelations, this chapter will stay long in the reader’s memory.’
‘It is a towering piece, intimate and rational, a love song, an elegy … This is a moving book.’
‘It is impossible not to be moved by this achingly raw remembrance and grateful for the stunning candour of its author.’
‘Somehow, what was true of Romulus, of the light his goodness cast upon the world a light that made it possible for his son Raimond to survive childhood without bitterness, to love without shame or condescension his sick mother who had abandoned him this light binds together and gleams out of the book as well. There are moments you can find them, captured in passing, in After Romulus when the light settles for a second and you can see it at work.’
‘In After Romulus Raimond Gaita invites us into the far reaches of his considerable mind and the deep places of his soul. This will be felt as a privilege by most readers, as it should. And it is, as it turns out, not just a sequel, but an extension of all that was good in his initial story. It is a book to stretch the mind and enlarge the heart.’
‘This is the kind of writing that is so brave it makes you flinch, so profound it makes you examine yourself, and so moving it makes you see life afresh. I was entranced as usual by Rai Gaita’s limpid style, and his signature combination of philosophical intellect and warm heart.’
‘There are times when the reader is right there beside Gaita, delighting in the stinging descriptions of his childhood at Frogmore and sympathising with the heartache that confronted him so early in life.’
‘Raimond Gaita’s After Romulus is an eloquent meditation on love, friendship, philosophy and loss. Gaita’s tragic loss of his mother at an early age reminds us of Emily Dickinson’s ‘The craving is upon the child like a claw it cannot remove’. The reader is compelled to admiration by this brave book.’
‘This exceptional book inspired me to reflect on my own place in the world.’