So They Call You Pisher! by Michael Rosen

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Michael Rosen: the children’s poet grew up dreaming of world revolution. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty

Michael Rosen: the children’s poet grew up dreaming of world revolution. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty

Sat, Jan 13, 2018, 00:00

   
 

Book Title:
So They Call You Pisher! A Memoir

ISBN-13:
9781786633965

Author:
Michael Rosen

Publisher:
Verso

Guideline Price:
£16.99

In this humorous and moving memoir, the children’s poet and political campaigner Michael Rosen takes us through the first 23 years of his life. He and his brother grew up in north London dreaming of world revolution; their parents, from the Jewish East End, met at a Young Communist League meeting, held party meetings in their front room and assiduously read the Daily Worker. Although some famous people feature in the book, it’s focused on father Harold and mother Connie. “They were yearning for something bigger and more universal than freedom for Jews alone: it was the liberation of all humankind they were after.” They were very disappointed when Rosen dropped out of his medical course at university. “It seemed to them that it was the most worthwhile of all professions, devoted solely and selflessly to the benefit of others.” The book abounds with lively Yiddish expressions and explains well how Rosen came to be a poet. (Gerard Manley Hopkins was a major influence.) A memorable and worthwhile read from a principled man who celebrates the funny side of life.