Aspertools publication day!

When Dr Harold Reitman’s daughter, Rebecca, was diagnosed with Asperger’s in her twenties she explained it to her father by saying: “Brains are like snowflakes – no two are alike.” Dr Reitman realised, for the first time, why he had been unable to understand the landscape of Rebecca’s mind and feelings while she was growing up and resolved to write Aspertools, the book he wishes had been available to him when Rebecca was a child, to help other parents understand their autistic child.

Aspertools by Dr. Harold Reitman is published today. Aspertools is a moving account of a parent coming to fully understand his child, and beginning to see the world through his child’s eyes and voice for the first time. It provides everything needed to understand a child, partner, pupil, whose brain is “a little different”.

Aspertools offers advice from three perspectives: as well as Dr Reitman’s perspective as a parent and a doctor, there is the insight of a special needs education teacher, Pati Fizzano, as well as inspirational stories from Dr Reitman’s daughter, Rebecca, about her own experiences for understanding and managing life as an Aspie, offering practical tools and strategies from her personal experience.

Dr Harold Reitman is a former professional box, who is now an orthopaedic surgeon. He wrote and produced The Square Root of 2, a film also inspired by his daughter, and he is the founder of the neurodiversity community site,

Find the book here:


Pablo Larrain’s Neruda

Following the huge success of Jackie, Pablo Larraín’s next project is Neruda. The film is set in Santiago in 1948, at the outset of the cold war. Already renowned for his Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, Neruda stood up in the senate (where he represented the Communist Party) and condemned Chile’s then-president, Gabriel González Videla, for turning against the party that had helped bring him to power and for behaving as thuggishly as Franco in Spain.

Then began what Neruda called “a year of blind rats”. For his courageous outspokenness, Neruda was deprived of his parliamentary immunity and forced into hiding, rushed from one safe house to another, sometimes in the middle of the night, to avoid being captured. Had he been, he might well have been taken to the concentration camp at Pisagua, in the northern Atacama desert (where the commandant was a certain Augusto Pinochet – 25 years before he led the military coup against president Salvador Allende). Neruda eventually escaped across the Andes on horseback into Argentina and made his way to Europe using the passport of his fellow writer, the Guatemalan novelist, Miguel Ángel Asturias. All this is also related in Neruda’s Memoirs, which we publish.

Not only was Pablo Neruda one of the twentieth century’s greatest poets but his life was an integral part of the history of the century. Pablo Neruda was born the son of a railway-worker and Memoirs opens with a lyrical evocation of his childhood in Chile, in what was still a frontier wilderness.

Neruda describes his bohemian youth in Santiago and his career as Chilean consul in Burma and Ceylon before the agony of his life during the Spanish Civil War. After the murder of his friend, Garcia Lorca, Neruda became a communist and a poet “for the people”. On his return to Chile he became a Senator before being forced into exile and he escaped from Chile, on horseback over the Andes, in 1949.

“His many books are the vast adventure story of his life, wars, travels, politics, and of course loves… The reader who knows no Spanish can be confident that, in reading Alastair Reid’s fine translations, he is reading Neruda… the memoirs are a delight; a ‘rattling good yarn’.”

‘London Magazine’

Memoirs cover

Souvenir Press has a long history with Pablo Neruda and have published his work since 1976, in 2004 we published new editions of several of his books to celebrate the centenary of his birth. Among Neruda’s work we publish Fully Empowered, one of Neruda’s own favourite collections of his poetry. The thirty-six poems vary from short, intense lyrics, characteristic Neruda odes, whimsical addresses to friends, and his magnificent mediations on the role of the poet. Within Fully Empowered are many poems among the best of Neruda’s work, including ‘The People’, his most celebrated later poem, where he stakes his claim to be the greatest voice of the common man in twentieth-century poetry.

“A passion to connect poetry to everything… There are those still who want to keep poetry esoteric and elitist and away from the quotidian. Like it or not, though, the opposite to this was Neruda’s self-appointed project, and it has a lot to do with the fact that his poetry is so enduringly popular.”

Matthew Sweeney, ‘Poetry London’

Fully Empowered contains much of Neruda’s greatest work… Neruda specifically asked his finest translator, Alastair Reid, to translate this volume into English.”

Poetry Book Society Bulletin

You can find Fully Empowered here:

Fully Empowered cover

We also publish Isla Negra, Neruda’s poetic autobiography centred round his home. Neruda considered Isla Negra, a small village on the Pacific coast of Chile, as the centre of his world. The poems move from childhood impressions and awakenings through his early loves, travels and the dawning of his political awareness to self-scrutiny and self-definition. Among their variety Neruda embraces the apparent contradictions of his life. Through-out the poems present and past interact, and this collection becomes the most revealing of Neruda’s long career. The poems of Isla Negra display the astonishing abundance of the human imagination when mingled with memory.

“Pablo Neruda moves fast, and Reid follows alertly, ingeniously; his translations in this book are superb.”

Robert Bly, ‘New York Times’

“From these humble beginnings he went on to become possibly his country’s most famous son… as well as creator of some of the century’s most memorable and beautiful poetry.”

‘Financial Times’

You can find Isla Negra here:

Isla Negra cover

Residence on Earth is Neruda’s first great work and the expression of his mature voice, political, engaged and committed where Neruda speaks not only for the victims of repression such as his friend and fellow poet, Frederico Garcia Lorca, but for entire continents.

“Pablo Neruda was easily the most prolific and popular of all twentieth-century poets… At his best, he is among the small group of last century’s great poets.”

                                                                                                            Mark Strand


The spontaneity and directness of Neruda’s voice finds its great subject in Residence on Earth, as he became “the people’s poet” addressing the reader with poems that are realistic and refer to the ordinary, exalting the basic things of existence while speaking for a politically committed vision of a reformed world.

“If I could weep with fear in a solitary house,

if I could take out my eyes and eat them,

I would do it for your black-draped orange-tree voice

And for your poetry that comes forth shouting.”

‘Ode To Frederico Garcia Lorca’

You can read more about it here:

Residence on Earth

A House in Flanders

In the summer of 1951 when Michael Jenkins was fourteen-years old he stayed with a French family in Flanders. In A House in Flanders Michael Jenkins, British ambassador to the Netherlands from 1988 to 1993 amongst many other diplomatic duties, tells the remarkable story of spending a summer with “the aunts in Flanders”. These aunts were in fact a group of elderly women whose connection to the family was somewhat tenuous but who embraced him nonetheless. With the memories of two world wars hanging over this new home and the unravelling of the secret at the heart of this family, Michael Jenkins tells of the summer that changed his life in evocative detail. He writes:

I was fourteen when I first came to the house on the edge of the plain. Some epidemic at school had, as was not unusual in those days, closed the establishment in the early summer, and my parents took the opportunity to despatch me for several months to ‘the aunts in Flanders’, mythical creatures as far as I was concerned, who had last been visited, I believe, by my father some time in the Thirties. Despite a French ancestry on my mother’s side we were not related to the family and my parents had always been vague, deliberately I now think, about the origins of our connection with them.


A House in Flanders is a vivid record of life amongst the various personalities whose lives are scarred by memories of the war. Don’t trust us, here are some of the people who have been most affected by A House in Flanders:


“There are some books, not necessarily the longest, in which the author’s intention is so perfectly realised, a seminal experience of life so beautifully recorded that the book becomes a small icon to be treasured not only on the shelf of a personal library, but in the mind.” – P. D. James, ‘Slightly Foxed’

“Artfully adds up to a portrait of a family, a time and a place … A very charming memoir.” – Penelope Lively, ‘The New York Times’

“This is a radiant book … A Whole spectrum of colours and lights, of delights and elegances, of wistfulness and love.” – Dirk Bogarde, ‘Daily Telegraph’

Published today, you can get your copy here:

House in Flanders cover

Do Parents Matter?

Robert A LeVine and Hannah Hiles talk about their new book Do Parents Matter?  in this week’s The Green Parent magazine. Distinguished anthropologists, Robert and Hannah have been researching parenting for almost half a century, in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Do Parents Matter? provides a wide range of parenting practices the world over with the intention that parents ‘might have a better chance of evaluating, and perhaps resisting, advice directed to them from the media, the internet, and the “experts”.’ They argue that we have exaggerated the need for total parental involvement and the negative outcomes while underestimating the resilience of children.

New parents and old will be fascinated by the range of parenting practices, from sharing the care in the Indian joint family to the universality of co-sleeping in Japan, a country they note ‘with one of the lowest rates of infant mortality in the world.’ Why not take a well-needed break, free yourself from the stress of expert advice and read this enlightening article.

If that sparks your interest, you can order a copy of the book here:

Do Parents Matter cover

Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate international women’s day we thought we would bring you news of our very own Jess Thom who has been appearing at the Sydney Opera House as part of the All About Women festival.

Jess has Tourettes syndrome and in 2011 she was in the audience of a show where, after complaints about disturbing other audience members because of her tics, she was asked to sit in a sound booth. Jess was stung by the incident and decided to do something about it. Last Sunday, Jess was front and centre of the Sydney Opera House, accompanied by improv actor Jess Mabel Jones in an excellent show which blends comedy, puppetry, singing and her idiosyncrasies to explore her own creativity and disability in her spontaneous and inimitable way. In Jess’s show Backstage in Biscuitland audience members are encouraged to make noise, move and tic. Jess believes that theatres must be more inclusive so that people like herself are not shut out in the way that she was. She has written more about this issue here:

Jess is also the creator of touretteshero, which celebrates the creativity and humour of people with Tourettes. Touretteshero is on Twitter ( and Facebook ( and her funny and interesting #dailyoutburst’s are an absolute joy.

Jess will also be taking her new project Adventures in Biscuitland around the UK, beginning at the Tate Modern on March 24th, 25th and 26th and it’s completely free to attend. For more information about this event see Jess’s blog at

Jess tells her inspirational story in Welcome to Biscuit Land which the Evening Standard called ‘an invaluable resource for families coping with Tourette’s’. This ‘moving, year-long diary’ (Daily Mail) is available in print and e-book with an excellent foreword by Stephen Fry here:

Welcome to Biscuit Land cover (002)

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2017, happy readers! We hope you all have a lovely Christmas & that you’re so far managing to avoid the dreaded January blues. Whether you have or not, we have just the ticket to perk anyone up in this COLD, cold month… new titles for the new year – and we have something for everyone!

  • Do Parents Matter?

In Do Parents Matter? anthropologists (and grandparents) Robert & Sarah LeVine investigate the diversity of parenting practices across the world – from the USA to Africa, Japan to Mexico – and come away with a reassuring conclusion: children tend to turn out to be the same well-adjusted adults all around the world no matter the parenting style.

Japanese children sleep with their parents well into primary school, women of the Hausa tribe (largely based in Nigeria) avoid verbal and eye contact with their toddlers; Western parenting frowns on both practices but Japanese children show higher than average levels of empathy while Hausa children seem quite content. The Levines’ fascinating global investigation discovers the practices, and experiences, of parents from around the world, and comes away with profound lessons from other cultures on how to build a family.

This in-depth survey of parenting practices across the world is based on almost 50 years of research, until concluding: there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, free yourself from expert advice and learn to relax.

Pre-order your copy here:


  • Aspertools

Aspertools offers advice from three perspectives, with that of a special needs education teacher, Pati Fizzano, as well as inspirational stories from Dr Reitman’s daughter, Rebecca, about her own experience, for understanding and managing life with an Aspie. It includes tips to make daily life less frustrating and more productive, focusing on the importance of positive routines, coping with social awkwardness and creating stability in daily activities.

Including tips on how to cope with social anxiety through preparation, encouragement and lists; how to effect positive changes in behaviour by utilising rules, rewards and consequences; how to decrease the frequency of meltdowns by providing an escape route to ‘a safe place’. This comprehensive and accessible work will open up the opportunity of a fulfilling life for everyone with a different brain – no matter the label.

Pre-order your copy here:


  • Modern Calligraphy

Discover how to create your own unique script. Even though the art of calligraphy is centuries old, Molly Suber Thorpe is ready to teach anyone how to find their own unique style.

All crafts, from knitting to making home decorations, have undergone a revival of popularity as they offer an escape from our increasingly digital world, as well as an opportunity to express your own creativity. Molly Suber Thorpe provides an accessible and comprehensive guide to getting started on your own calligraphic projects.

Easy-to-understand instructions for designing your own wedding invitations, greetings cards, place cards and many more!

Pre-order your copy here:


  • The Ascension Mysteries

In The Hidden Science of Lost Civilisations David Wilcock unlocked the mysteries mankind have always struggled to answer: who are we, how did we get here and where are we going?

In The Synchronicity Key he investigated how our universe works.

Now, in his third instalment of his trilogy, David Wilcock reveals that the earth is on the front lines of a battle that has been   raging between positive and negative extraterrestrials for 500,000 years and he looks ahead to what this battle means. Follow his enthralling journey through the history of the universe and explore the great Cosmic Battle surrounding the Ascension of mankind.

By unifying ancient texts from a variety of religions with scientific data and insider testimony, David Wilcock presents his stunning revelation—the Earth is on the verge of a cosmic event that will transform matter, energy, consciousness, and biological life as we now know it and will finally defeat the great villains of our time.

Pre-order your copy here:


  • I Ching

The I Ching focuses on the belief that change is always possible, the only mistake in life is to be inflexible and not open to the opportunity of growth. It can be consulted about any situation where you desire to change an aspect of your life or your relationship with another. The I Ching seeks to make the most of any situation and to overcome the disharmony in a life.

In I Ching In Plain English George Hulskramer has balanced several new translations of recently published versions of the I Ching to capture the essential spirit of this ancient classic.

It opens up the meanings of the coins to a wider range of contemporary experience than is provided by Richard Wilhelm’s traditionally accepted translation of 1923. The traditional Confucian version of the I Ching, which dominates Richard Wilhelm’s edition, emphasises correct behaviour and good manners while the Taoist and Buddhist schools stress inner development, how to make changes to the relationships you have with people around you and how to manage change in your life.

Pre-order your copy here:


The Testament

What will you be doing at 4.30pm tomorrow afternoon? That’s the time of day we all start to flag and reach for the kettle and teabags to power us through to the end of the working day. But tomorrow, our cup of tea will be accompanied by the voice of Sir Ben Kingsley, who will be speaking about the incredible life of Elie Wiesel on the Great Lives programme on BBC Radio 4.

Wiesel was at once a professor, Nobel laureate, Holocaust survivor and campaigner, and author of The Testament: the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

“A witness for truth and justice.” The Nobel Committee

The Testament follows the life of Paltiel Kossover, a “mute poet” and witness to history, travels from his Jewish childhood in pre-revolutionary Russia to Paris and Berlin in the 1930s as the Nazis take power, and Spain during its Civil War. On his journey he embraces communism only to return to Russia and be imprisoned. In his prison cell Paltiel writes his ‘testament’, a long letter to the son he will never see again, an account of his life as a man “who lived a Communist and died a Jew”.

Encompassing Europe, and the history of the twentieth-century, Elie Wiesel pays tribute to the many writers killed by Stalin and in Paltiel he has created one of the great Everyman characters of contemporary literature.


Elie Wiesel was born in Romania in 1928. As a child during World War Two he was deported to Auschwitz, where his mother and sister died, and sent on to Buchenwald where his father died. At the end of World War Two he moved to France and, eventually, to the USA.

“Words can hardly do justice to Wiesel’s life or his dignity.” The Times

Read The Testament here: and tune in for Great Lives on BBC Radio 4 at 4.30pm (GMT).