As Clare struggles to recover from her injuries, she stumbles upon the School of Art, where she finds solace in drawing, and a mentor who encourages Clare's burgeoning artistic ambitions. But how can one be an artist when the whole world has gone mad? When her own city is half-destroyed? When she’s not sure if Leo will ever come home?
Meanwhile the city, weary from the seemingly endless war and torn apart by the devastating explosion, is wracked with fear and mistrust of foreigners. Clare's new friend Fred, a glassmaker from Germany, is pulled into a web of suspicion, causing Clare to question everything she thought she knew.
Dazzle Patterns is an unforgettable story about resilience, art, and the casualties of war, abroad and at home. With extraordinary vision and clarity, Alison Watt's remarkable debut novel brings the past to life.
Alison Watt’s is a biologist, author, and painter who works and teaches out of her studio on Protection Island, near Nanaimo. Her first book, The Last Island: A Naturalist’s Sojourn on Triangle Island, won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction. Circadia, a collection of poetry, came out with Pedlar Press in 2005. Dazzle Patterns is her first novel.
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.