2014 WINNER

Patrick McGuinness

Other People’s Countries: A Journey into Memory

Let me take you down the thin cobblestoned streets of the Belgian border town of Bouillon. Let me take you down the alleys that lead into its past. To a town peopled with eccentrics, full of charm, menace and wonder. To the days before television, to Marie Bodard’s sweetshop, to the Nazi occupation and unexpected collaborators. To a place where one neighbour murders another over the misfortune of pigs and potatoes. To the hotel where the French poet Verlaine his lover Rimbaud, holed up whilst on the run from family, creditors and the law.

Patrick McGuinness

Other People's Countries: A Journey into Memory (2014), by Patrick McGuinness

Patrick McGuinness
Patrick McGuinness is the author of two previous books of poetry, two novels, The Last Hundred Days and Throw Me to the Wolves, and a non-fiction book about place, time and memory, and his mother’s small Belgian border town of Bouillon – Other People’s Countries – which was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize and the James Tait Black Prize, won the Wales Book of the Year, and the Duff Cooper Prize. He is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford.