Frances Stonor Saunders

The Suitcase

The Suitcase

Six Attempts to Cross a Border


*Winner of the PEN Ackerley Prize 2022*

'This is family history at its best... the words fizz off the page and flutter in the mind' Sunday Times

If you open that suitcase you'll never close it again.

Ten years ago, Frances Stonor Saunders was handed an old suitcase filled with her father's papers. Her father's life had been a study in borders - exiled from Romania during the war, to Turkey then Egypt and eventually Britain, and ultimately to the borderless territory of Alzheimer's. The unopened suitcase seems to represent everything that had made her father unknowable to her in life.

So begins a captivating exploration of history, memory and geography, as Frances Stoner Saunders decides to unpick her family's past.