RaveThe Times Literary Supplement\"Gessen’s delicate prose and deft skill as an interviewer combine with Friedman’s haunting photography to produce a partial record of the ruins of Soviet prison camps in Sandarmokh, Perm and Kolyma, and of the fraught memorialization efforts that followed perestroika and the Soviet Union’s collapse ... Friedman’s large-scale monochrome photographs capture these fragments in haunting detail, blowing them up as if to magnify the paucity of information they contain. Never Remember is a chilling verbal and visual archive of what Walker calls \'the Russian case of forgetting.\' \
Elisabeth Asbrink, Trans. by Fiona Graham
PositiveThe New RepublicWhat is unusual about her book is that she creates a sense of history unfolding in real time. Asbrink presents scenes from around the world alongside one another, making for juxtapositions that are sometimes ironic, sometimes damning, and always tinged with sadness ... Memoir is not Asbrink’s strength. Her reflections on traumatic inheritance, on the unreliability and loss of memory, on the paucity of language for the crimes of the 20th century are often overwrought; she needlessly strains to underscore the gravity of her subject when in fact the history, riddled with ambiguities and cruel ironies, speaks for itself. But without her short diversion into personal history, Asbrink’s work would seem incomplete. Her difficulty capturing the contingency of her father’s life, and her own, has a way of bringing author and reader closer together ... Asbrink’s contribution is to underscore the contingency of the post-war period, to give it a fitting form, and to show that we must learn not only from what happened, but also from everything that might have been.