Alamein to Zem Zem

Keith Douglas
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ISBN 9780571315369 Format N/A
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About Book

'This is the only book from the Second World War comparable with the first-war narratives of Sassoon, Blunden or Graves . . . When the battle of El Alamein began, the poet Keith Douglas was in Cairo with Divisional HQ. Eager not to miss the action, he took a truck and, against orders, drove to re-join his regiment. He served as a tank commander throughout the whole of the allied advance across North Africa, and Alamein to Zem Zem (1946) is his story. Boyishness and inexperience give it flash-bulb immediacy . . . Scenes of unforgettable pity and terror unfold . . . Everything, from flowers carpeting the desert in winter to vanquished enemies, is seen with a poet's eye and the generosity of youth.' John Carey, Guardian

This Faber Finds edition of Keith Douglas's classic work - originally published two years after his death in Normandy in 1944 - includes a new preface by the novelist Richard Skinner.

  • About Keith Douglas

    Keith Douglas was born in 1920. At school and at Oxford he was both a prolific poet and a committed member of the Officers Training Corps. When the Second World War broke out, he enlisted immediately, and was posted to Palestine in 1941. When his tank regiment began fighting in El Alamein in 1942, Douglas was instructed to stay behind as a staff officer. But he made his own way to the battlefield, an experience which he recounted in his prose memoir Alamein to Zem Zem (first published in 1946). He later took part in the Normandy invasion on 6 June 1944, and was killed three days later. His Collected Poems came out in 1951.

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