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Extreme Understanding

Jenny Diski: Irmgard Keun, 10 April 2008

Child of All Nations 
by Irmgard Keun, translated by Michael Hofmann.
Penguin, 195 pp., £14.99, January 2008, 978 0 7139 9907 5
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... grasp. Only approximations and artifice are left to adults who have nothing but memory to go on. Irmgard Keun’s first-person narrator in Child of All Nations supplies a different form of narration; Kully is a knowing child who speaks for herself. (These days, they do this all the time. The child narrative is practically a genre. But, in 1938, it was ...

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