Winner of one prize and short-listed for two more at the time of writing, The Photographer at Sixteen is a memoir of Szirtes's mother who, after two spells in concentration camps, the discovery of the loss of her entire family, and emigration as a refugee, ended her own life after suffering with a critical heart condition. But, as the memoir records, she was a fighter all her life. The story is told backwards in three parts: from mother, to young woman, to a child getting ever younger in studio photographs of her and her vanished family.
“A truly remarkable book about identity, image and memory. It is fiercely compelling.” Edmund de Waal
“I've read no memoir that moved me more.” Miranda Seymour, Financial Times