Sepharad: A Novel

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An “amazing” novel about the diaspora of Sephardic Jews amid the tumult of twentieth century history (The Washington Post Book World).

From one of Spain’s most celebrated writers, this extraordinary blend of fiction, history, and memoir tells the story of the Sephardic diaspora through seventeen interlinked chapters.
 
“If Balzac wrote The Human Comedy, [Antonio] Muñoz Molina has written the adventure of exile, solitude, and memory,” Arturo Pérez-Reverte observed of this “masterpiece” that shifts seamlessly from the past to the present along the escape routes employed by Sephardic Jews across countries and continents as they fled Hitler’s Holocaust and Stalin’s purges in the mid-twentieth century (The New York Review of Books).
 
In a remarkable display of narrative dexterity, Muñoz Molina fashions a “rich and complex story” out of the experiences of people both real and imagined: Eugenia Ginzburg and Greta Buber-Neumann, one on a train to the gulag, the other heading toward a Nazi concentration camp; a shoemaker and a nun who become lovers in a small Spanish town; and Primo Levi, bound for Auschwitz (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). From the well-known to the virtually unknown, all of Muñoz Molina’s characters are voices of separation, nostalgia, love, and endless waiting.
 
“Stories that vibrate beneath the burden of history, that lift with the breath of human life.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“A magnificent novel about the iniquity and horror of fanaticism, and especially the human being’s indestructible spirit.” —Mario Vargas Llosa
 
“Moving and often astonishing.” —The New York Times
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
Aug 4, 2008
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780547544779
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Jewish
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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The #1 International Bestseller & New York Times Bestseller

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.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Inspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive—and to reunite—We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds. A hopeful and inspiring read that’s great to give this holiday season.
 
“Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn't be more timely.” —Glamour
 
It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.
 
As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere.
 
An extraordinary, propulsive novel, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can endure and even thrive.
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