Monday 4 April 2022

Living with Shadows


Living with Shadows, by Merilyn Moos

Merilyn Moos has spent her life living with shadows. “Not”, she writes, “B-movie ghosts in gothic hallways, but something emanating a sense of death”.

The great grand niece of Albert Einstein and daughter of German refugees, she was born into a home of secrecy and paranoia. Her parents lived under Nazism and Stalinism. Her father was a member of the Red Front. After the Reichstag fire, he escaped the Gestapo by walking across Germany. Her mother fled Moscow and her lover died in the gulags. She never stopped mourning him, or blaming herself, for what she innocently wrote on a postcard that resulted in his arrest.

Brought up in Durham, her parents were burdened with regret and guilt. Her mother found refuge writing plays and poems, while her father expressed himself with his paintings.

As a child, Merilyn took comfort in books, and as an adult in her sculptures and her own political activism.

This short memoir is a penetrating and personal reflection on her life. I am proud to say that in this book’s early stages she asked me to help her shape it.