Reviews
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Cabinet of marvels

By Veronica Horwell, The Guardian
26 June 2010

Netsuke Belonging To Cera 007

De Waal has a mystical ability to so inhabit the long-gone moment as to seem to suspend inexorable history, personal and impersonal.

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Secrets of the Hare with Amber Eyes

By Valerie Grove, The Times
29 May 2010

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Creating beautiful pots is an intense but finite thing. Creating a book is quite another matter — obsessing the imagination, demanding travel to far places, opening infinite avenues of research, encroaching on family life for several years...

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Runaway success

By Ed Caesar, The Sunday Times
23 January 2011

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The Ephrussi family patronised Renoir and Proust, but lost everything in the war. Now their descendant has turned their story into a surprise bestseller. 

Press Archive

The right tone of voice

By Thomas Schmid, Welt am Sonntag
10 June 2012

Mit seiner Familiensaga "Der Hase mit den Bernsteinaugen" schrieb Edmund de Waal einen unverhofften Bestseller. Doch seine wahre Leidenschaft ist das Töpfern. Ein Portrait

The man who spoke with miniatures

By Xavi Ayen, La Vanguardia Magazine
8 July 2012

El ceramista británico Edmund de Waal heredó de un tío suyo 264 netsukes, unas delicadas miniaturas japonesas. ¿Qué habrán visto desde que fueron creadas?, se preguntó.

Searching for a Lost World

By Walter Kaiser, New York Review of Books
14 October 2010

In the unexpected book he has now written about his ancestors, The Hare with Amber Eyes, de Waal’s artistic sensibility and historical empathy are as animating as they are in his ceramic craft.

The Netsuke Survived

By Roger Cohen, The New York Times
3 September 2011

The odyssey of 264 netsuke — Japanese carvings not much larger than cherry tomatoes — lies at the heart of Edmund de Waal’s extraordinary book The Hare with Amber Eyes.

Europe's Jews, As Told By Miniature Japanese Art

By Paul Levy, Wall Street Journal
11 June 2010

In his extraordinary and category-defying book, The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance, Mr. de Waal traces the fate of 264 of these tiny sculptures, a collection he inherited in the 1990s following the death of his great-uncle Iggie's Japanese boyfriend.

Small but perfectly formed

By John de Falbe, The Spectator
23 June 2010

Apart from any historical value that may lie in documenting the story of his family, he has made a valuable contribution to the scant literature that exists on the nature of touch.

Inheritance of loss

By Brian Dillon, The Sunday Telegraph
26 June 2010

The ultimate message of his engrossing book is a profound one, however: that our lives are made and unmade in the company of things. “Touch tells you what you need to know – it tells you about yourself.”

The potter fired by treasured memories

By Frances Spalding, The Independent
17 June 2010

The Hare with Amber Eyes is a deliberate act of retrieval. It takes the form of a memoir and tracks the ascent and decline of the Ephrussi, his Jewish ancestors. Its narrative is skilfully plotted and switches lightly from restrained feeling to objective historical or geographical facts. It has intellectual rigour as well as an engaging hesitancy, similar to that which gives his pots their gentle imprecision. Both make us aware of the fragility in things.

The Hare with Amber Eyes

By Frances Wilson, The Sunday Times
30 May 2010

Following the fortunes of a collection of miniature figurines, Edmund de Waal’s family memoir is a work of rare and sustained brilliance.

Following the fortunes of a collection of miniature figurines, Edmund de Waal’s family memoir is a work of rare and sustained brilliance.

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The Hare with Amber Eyes

By Gerald Jacobs, The Sunday Telegraph
20 June 2010

Edmund de Waal's The Hare With Amber Eyes tells a fascinating family history through a collection of miniature Japanese carvings.

Edmund de Waal's The Hare With Amber Eyes tells a fascinating family history through a collection of miniature Japanese carvings.

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The Hare with Amber Eyes

By Rachel Cooke, The Observer
6 June 2010

De Waal has researched his story with obsessive diligence and he tells it with an imaginative commitment – searching, yet wide-eyed – sadly lacking in some of our more wizened biographers. He is wonderful on place, forever turning doorknobs, real and imaginary, and inviting the reader in.

Small and perfectly formed

By Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
5 June 2010

Few writers have ever brought more perception, wonder and dignity to a family story as has Edmund de Waal in a narrative that beguiles from the opening sentence.

Interview

By David Herman, The Jewish Chronicle
17 June 2010

The Hare with Amber Eyes is possibly the best Jewish book for years. Full of personal and historical drama, adultery and Big History, from Dreyfus to Hitler. 

A lovingly crafted, understated memoir

By Daragh Reddin, Metro
22 June 2010

It’s De Waal’s ability to see world events through the prism of family history, as well as his lambent prose, that makes this book every bit as exquisite as the diminutive sculptures that inspired it.

264 Japanese Carvings, Revealing Family History

By Eve M. Kahn, The New York Times
12 August 2010

The rows of netsuke have influenced his ceramic work; he often groups his pots by color and size on museum and gallery shelves, like minimalist repeating brushstrokes. Viewers who know about his inheritance, he said, have told him: “Diasporic objects! You’re keeping your objects together, aren’t you?”

The Hare with Amber Eyes

By Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
2 September 2010

The Hare With Amber Eyes belongs on the same shelf with Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory, André Aciman's Out of Egypt and Sybille Bedford's A Legacy. All four are wistful cantos of mutability, depictions of how even the lofty, beautiful and fabulously wealthy can crack and shatter as easily as Fabergé glass or Meissen porcelain -- or, sometimes, be as tough and enduring as netsuke, those little Japanese figurines carved out of ivory or boxwood.

Tracing a grand family’s aspirations through its art

By Richard Eder, The Boston Globe
29 August 2010

At a deeper level, though, Hare is about something more, just as Marcel Proust’s masterpiece was about something more than the trappings of high society. As with Remembrance of Things Past, it uses the grandeur to light up interior matters: aspirations, passions, their passing; all in a duel, and a duet, of elegy and irony.