We look forward to welcoming our most loved travel writer Rory MacLean to Other Side for an evening of stories that capture the spirit and character of place and its people.
"Why are we drawn to certain cities?" asks Rory MacLean in the prologue to his brilliant new history of Berlin. I myself came here on a whim. Following a weekend visit some years ago, I made the spontaneous decision on the train journey home to move my life here; this often ungainly yet seductive city has an urgency about it that today entices and inspires so much creativity.
And yet, for a city that feels to be ever evolving and buzzing with the zeitgeist of our modern generation, this is also a city where history is inescapable. It assaults you as you walk Berlin's streets. Never before have I known a city where the layers of history are so present – even in their absence – and often so palpably recent. MacLean brings these monumental and clashing historical layers vividly to life in Berlin: Imagine a City. "No other city has repeatedly been so powerful, and fallen so low," he writes. "No other capital has been so hated, so feared, so loved. No other place has been so twisted and torn across five centuries of conflict, from religious wars to cold war, at the hub of Europe's ideological struggle." The Guardian
Rory is joining us to talk about talk about travel writing and his UK top tens “Stalin’s Nose” and “Under the Dragon” as well as “Berlin: Imagine a City”, a Washington Post Book of the Year.
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