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A History of Forgetting (1999)
Empathy is a luxury few people can afford. Malcolm, an ageing hairdresser whose love for his Alzheimers-victim lover is fading fast, is too oppressed by his domestic life to notice the world outside. Alison, his colleague, is blithely innocent; she believes that hairdressing brings happiness, and doesn't understand pain. Both are in their own way blind, until a colleague's neo-fascist murder unites them on an emotional journey - to the Auschwitz Museum, where they are forced to confront the suffering of others, and to face the possibility of life. Unexpectedly witty, devastatingly frank, this is a brave and extraordinarily enjoyable novel by an acclaimed and exceptional writer.
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