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We All Giggled

A Bourgeois Family Memoir

By Thomas O. Hueglin
Subjects Biography & Autobiography, Life Writing
Series Life Writing Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554582624, 246 pages, January 2011
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554587094, 246 pages, September 2011

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
We All Giggled: A Bourgeois Family Memoir by Thomas O. Hueglin


What This Is About

Part I: The Hüglins

1. Tango

2. A nearly missed wedding

3. Madonnas and Buddhas

4. Diaspora

5. Les artistes

6. Nationalökonomie

7. Rhenish humour

8. Genealogy of men

9. (Some) artists again

10. The villa(s)

11. Christmas

12. Mucki

13. The Planter

14. Nemesis

15. Zauberberg

16. Varasdin on the Isar

17. Nüssli mit Likör

18. The surroundings

19. Kids

20. School

21. Cars

22. The Jewish question (I)

23. Black Forest

24. From music to medicine

25. War

Part II: The Wachendorffs

26. A sombre beginning

27. A macabre anniversary

28. Black stairs

29. The photographer

30. The factory director

31. The gardener

32. Tyrant and charmer

33. Possible encounter

34. Another Chile connection

35. Hattenheim

36. The Rhine

37. Freie Heimat

38. Books and poems

39. The Jewish question (II)

40. Same subject continued

41. Postscript

42. In from the cold

43. Favourite aunt

44. Hans-Erich

45. Family reunions

46. Gamelan meets baroque

47. Reborn

48. Middle names

49. Middle ground

50. Skin of our teeth

51. War again

Part III: Renate and Hans

52. Presto agitato

53. Courtship

54. The crossing

55. Occupation

56. Wings

57. Degrees of separation

58. Presto agitato again

59. Interlude

Part IV: Tutzing (1950s)

60. Little house on the lake

61. On the town

62. Boys and girls

63. Catholics and Communists

64. The hotel

65. Erika

66. Piano lessons

67. Music, caviar, and space

68. Star-struck

69. Beaulieu-sur-Mer

70. Disaster

71. A few months later, back to the memoir

72. Geneva

73. On the radio

Part V: Munich

74. Esmeralda

75. The apartment

76. The doctor

77. The piano

78. Dallas

79. School again

80. The group

81. Girls

82. Ambach


We All Giggled tells the stories of two families that came together when the author’s parents met and married in 1945. The Hüglins had lost most of their fortune in the course of two world wars, and the Wachendorff s had survived the Nazi years despite their Jewish ancestry. The families’ roots are traced back to a vineyard in southern Germany, a jail in Geneva, the Conservatory in St. Petersburg, and the hometown of a Jewish merchant in Silesia.

This engaging book centres on the author’s recollections of his grandparents, his parents, and his own growing up in postwar Germany in an environment of bourgeois stability and comfort. As the author chronicles his family’s ups and downs and abiding love for music, food, and art across several generations, a rich tapestry of anecdotes unfolds—about opera singers, restaurants, and travels, and about family relations, romance, and the kind of “impromptu reactions to people, places, and situations that often result in uncontrollable giggles. ”


“This book reminds us what the ideal family actually is: a collection of colourful, delightfully imperfect people who have, for better and worse, made up the music of our lives. May we all remember and honour our families with such care, respect, and willingness to giggle and forgive. ”

- Alison Wearing, author of Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey