Life empty with The Killing over? Fear not...

May 16, 2011

Jussi Adler-Olsen’s photograph collection is unique. An everyday chronicle of a happy family life in 1950s Denmark, with the odd glimpse into the other side of his childhood where he lived in a series of remote mental hospitals where his father worked as a psychiatrist, and murderers were his friends.
There he is, a small, wiry boy, posing with his scout group in front of a suburban home in Copenhagen. Then he appears in a photo taken by his father, standing alone on a ferry looking back to the comfortable city life they are leaving behind. Now we see a party of nurses in their starched white uniforms. Finally there is a photo of a man on a hospital bed, wearing a red tie and buttoned-up waistcoat, with wires protruding from his head. The man stares expressionlessly up at the lens while Jussi, a little boy with a new box camera, captures him at the moment that the nurses turn the dial to adminis… [more]

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The Secret Millionaire

February 04, 2011

Businessman Jeff Pearce hid his illiteracy until middle age – but learning to read and write was the making of him

Jeff Pearce prefers being called an “adventurer” to an “entrepreneur”. He is the short, ginger-haired action hero of Liverpool retail who made a fortune selling £1 leather trousers to hard-up scousers in the 1980s, then lost his millions, and remade them — playing polo with the Royal Family, working as a stunt rider for Richard Gere and sailing the Atlantic in the meantime.

His name is not actually Jeff. Pearce’s mother changed it to hide the shameful secret with which he has lived most of his life — that he could neither read nor write. Pearce could never spell his real name, James. For years he would come home from school and sit with his mother writing “J-A-M”. Eventually she said, “You know what — it’s Jeff.”

“I felt like I was living my life under false pretences. Because really you sho… [more]

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