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Book Club - True Stories

True Stories 

by Francesca Stainer 

Francesca Stainer

This month we take a look at true stories, with everything from Apartheid, an untold story of Stalin’s family, and a fascinating tale of the infamous Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. So sit back, relax and learn something new about the people and events of the past…

we are not such things


By Justine Van Der Leun

The story of Amy Biehl is well known. Sheknown; she was brutally murdered outside Cape Town during the fiery days of apartheid in 1993, but her grieving parents publically forgave her mob of killers. This acted as a symbol of the Truth and Reconciliation process in South Africa and inspired Justine Van Der Leun’s novel. We Are Not Such Things is a result of Justine’s four years investigating this knotted tale of injustice, murder, and forgiveness. It is a fascinating and gripping tale exploring the twists and turns of the case, its powerful aftermath, and a raw exhibit of life in South Africa today. This is an absolute must read!

Publisher: Penguin Random House


By Rosemary Sullivan
The novel begins with the question ‘What would it mean to be born Stalin’s daughter?’. Rosemary Sullivan tells us how being the child of an iconic and brutal dictator crushes her freedom, and explores her life because of this fate. The harrowing biography shows the behind the scenes of Svetlana’s life; secret police lurking in the kitchen, a family who were all killed, and her desperate search for love. This fascinating read gives an insight to the Stalin legacy that you would not have heard, and is therefore a necessity for any curious historians.
Publisher: Harper Collins

Stalin's Daughter
The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington


By Joanna Moorhead

In 2006 the journalist, Joanne Moorhead, discovered that her father’s cousin, who had gone missing decades before, was now a famous artist in Mexico and immediately jetteds off to find her. The long lost Leonora was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s, a founding member of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Mexico during the 70s and who has a reputation as a muse, a novelist, and a great artist. This book is an extraordinary story of Leonora Carrington’s life, the relationship between lost family, and an encounter that changed their lives.

Publisher: Virago

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