Miriam Pirolo


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Miriam Pirolo

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Born
in Rome, Italy
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Member Since
May 2011


Average rating: 3.96 · 25 ratings · 1 review · 4 distinct works · Similar authors
Michel Houellebecqs "Extens...

3.83 avg rating — 18 ratings — published 2010
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Tell Me a Tale

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4.33 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2012
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Defensives Und Offensives S...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2012
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Marche Sur Mes Yeux
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Miriam Pirolo made a comment in the group Books in/about Cyprusbook trailers topic
" Even if not set in Cyprus, The Closing is by a young Cypriot author and definitely worth reading :) "
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Marche Sur Mes Yeux by Serge Michel
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Er ist wieder da by Timur Vermes
Er ist wieder da
by Timur Vermes
read in March, 2014
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Er ist wieder da by Timur Vermes
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
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The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
The Colonel
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Le Club des incorrigibles optimistes by Jean-Michel Guenassia
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Blutsbrüder by Ernst Haffner
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Albert Camus
“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend”
Albert Camus

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Miriam Pirolo Hi Colette, thanks for this honest comment. How come you can only reply as a friend? I would recommend you to just rate the book (mark it as "read" and "review" it) and copy-paste your thought to the review box that appears below whenever you rate a book. Let me know how it goes :)


Colette Ni Miriam,

I read the post on Bitter Lemons (BL) but I could not reply as I am not 'a friend'.
The reviewer, who seemed tremendously upset by the book's content, covered most aspects of what was wrong with it - from that point of view.

I am Irish, as you know, and Ireland was also (still is in parts) governed by Britain, so my people, my country have known the 'imperialist' view of peasants, the underdog etc. The Irish were considered the Negroes of Europe. (No offence to black folk intended, just stating a fact.)

However, my husband, a Greek Cypriot, bought me the book before we came to Cyprus and I found a lot to enjoy in it. I later made a friend of one of Durrell's students and they, she said, liked and respected him. He was certainly no George Clooney, he was just different.

I don't think BL made the 'simple' folk look idiotic, in fact in ways it made them look exactly what Cypriots are, a resilient people whose sense of humour has got them through a great deal. I learned one valuable lesson from that book and that was the part in the tavern where he overheard the customers talking about him in a derogatory manner. He didn't confront them, he burst into patriotic song - in Greek making them aware that he knew his Greeks. (And wow, a Brit actually took the trouble to do that, yet!) In other words if you argue with a Greek, he'll just shout louder than you. Make him feel ashamed of his bad manners, especially with respect to hospitality and that will have more effect.

As to Turks, I never lived among a mixed community and cannot comment on what Turkish Cypriots/Turks are like to live with. I do know people who made Turkish Cypriot friends they valued and even during '74, many TCs helped Greek friends out of danger.

The good thing about all this is freedom of speech, one person's right to dislike a book/author and another's ability to find the positive where others find negatives.

Mr. D is not around to defend himself, he was by no means a 'darling' not a man to like easily from what I read, but then many brilliant writers are obnoxious.

Like most 'invaded' people, I have reasons to dislike things the British have done to my people and my country, but one thing I will give them and that is their amazing sense of humour and their ability to laugh at themselves and ridicule what they see as silly or pompous in their politicians. They jealously guard their right to free speech and the rights or wrongs of their journalistic community are well aired. Their government representatives are not treated like gods that can do no wrong.

Bitter Lemons is really an outside writer's view (as was said, at that time) of a small island world that was rapidly changing, the Coke signs were going up, L.D. remarked, one more reason to go, Cyprus was beginning to look like everywhere else, and one more race caught under the heel of outmoded imperialism was making its cry for freedom heard.

I'll end on a pleased note, Ireland never tried to impose her language or her culture on anyone else. She has shared her writers with the world. One more word for the freedom of the Brits themselves (who corralled so many races and deprived them of total freedom), many of Ireland's best writers had to go to England to be published because the love affair between the Irish State and the Catholic Church oppressed people's rights to free expression in literature. BL may cause irritation to some, but - isn't it great you can say so?


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