The Irresistible Alba Arikha


If you’ve missed Alba Arikha’s book of memoirs, then this is a wake-up call – for the delectable Alba has got a fascinating story to tell.

Born and raised in Paris, she studied piano for many years before turning to writing. Having had a remarkable childhood in a household where her father was the artist Avigdor Arikha, her mother the poet Anna Atik and her godfather none other than the distinguished playwright Samuel Beckett, the future augured well for the multi-talented Alba, whose home was a hub of literary and artistic achievement – which still reverberates today.

Alba’s tale is played out against the family memories of war and exile and the ever-present echoes of the European holocaust.

Her family in Paris had been friends with Beckett since her father met him in 1966. She was named after his poem ‘Alba’, and he was her godfather despite the fact she is Jewish and wasn’t baptised.

When she was born he bought her the most elegant pram and the largest teddy bear he could find, according to her mother. He also gave her a spoon that he had as a child, which her father painted – a lone spoon on a white napkin.

With such a background and an independent spirit, and after receiving an MFA from Columbia University, Alba moved to London where her novel Muse was published, followed by a selection of short stories, Walking on Ice (both published under the name Alba Branca). Alba has recently recorded a CD of her own songs, called Dans les rues de Paris. She and her husband currently live in London with her two children.

Alba oozes talent and, to top it all, she has a magnetic field of charm and a beauty that’s hard to equate or resist. Her book, Major/Minor, is still available – so order a copy now while stocks last.

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