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What is the difference between writing a novel about the Holocaust and fabricating a memoir? Do narratives about the Holocaust have a special obligation to be 'truthful'--that is, faithful to the facts of history? Or is it okay to lie in such works? In her provocative study A Thousand Darknesses, Ruth Franklin investigates these questions as they arise in the most significant works of Holocaust fiction, from Tadeusz Borowski's Auschwitz stories to Jonathan Safran Foer's postmodernist family history. Franklin argues that the memory-obsessed culture of the last few decades has led us to mistakenly focus on testimony as the only valid form of Holocaust writing. As even the most canonical texts have come under scrutiny for their fidelity to the facts, we have lost sight of the essential role that imagination plays in the creation of any literary work, including the memoir. Taking a fresh look at memoirs by Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi, and examining novels by writers such as Piotr Rawicz, Jerzy Kosinski, W.G. Sebald, and Wolfgang Koeppen, Franklin makes a persuasive case for literature as an equally vital vehicle for understanding the Holocaust (and for memoir as an equally ambiguous form). The result is a study of immense depth and range that offers a lucid view of an often cloudy field.
What is the difference between writing a novel about the Holocaust and fabricating a memoir? Do narratives about the Holocaust have a special obligation to be 'truthful'--that is, faithful to the facts of history? Or is it okay to lie in such works? In her provocative study A Thousand Darknesses, Ruth Franklin investigates these questions as they arise in the most significant works of Holocaust fiction, from Tadeusz Borowski's Auschwitz stories to Jonathan Safran Foer's postmodernist family history. Franklin argues that the memory-obsessed culture of the last few decades has led us to mistakenly focus on testimony as the only valid form of Holocaust writing. As even the most canonical texts have come under scrutiny for their fidelity to the facts, we have lost sight of the essential role that imagination plays in the creation of any literary work, including the memoir. Taking a fresh look at memoirs by Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi, and examining novels by writers such as Piotr Rawicz, Jerzy Kosinski, W.G. Sebald, and Wolfgang Koeppen, Franklin makes a persuasive case for literature as an equally vital vehicle for understanding the Holocaust (and for memoir as an equally ambiguous form). The result is a study of immense depth and range that offers a lucid view of an often cloudy field.
In her provocative study A Thousand Darknesses, Ruth Franklin investigates questions of meaning, history, and literary value as they arise in the most significant works of Holocaust fiction. Franklin argues that the memory-obsessed culture of the last few decades has led us to mistakenly focus on testimony as the only valid form of Holocaust writing, denying the inherently hybrid nature of the memoir while also neglecting novels and other imaginative forms that radiate meaning in other equally or even more powerful ways.
Examining the controversies that have accompanied the publication of novels representing the Holocaust, this compelling book explores such literature to analyze their violently mixed receptions and what this says about the ethics and practice of millennial Holocaust literature. The novels examined, including some for the first time, are: * Time's Arrow by Martin Amis * The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas * The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski * Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally * Sophie's Choice by William Styron * The Hand that Signed the Paper by Helen Darville. Taking issue with the idea that the Holocaust should only be represented factually, this compelling book argues that Holocaust fiction is not only legitimate, but an important genre that it is essential to accept. In a growing area of interest, Sue Vice adds a new, intelligent and contentious voice to the key debates within Holocaust studies.
A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man. Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
A New York Times Notable Book of 2016 A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Pick of 2016 An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016 A Time Magazine Top Nonfiction of 2016 A Seattle Times Best Book of 2016 A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016 An NPR 2016's Great Read A Boston Globe Best Book of 2016 A Nylon Best Book of 2016 A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2016 A Booklist 2016 Editors' Choice In this “thoughtful and persuasive” biography, award-winning biographer Ruth Franklin establishes Shirley Jackson as a “serious and accomplished literary artist” (Charles McGrath, New York Times Book Review). Instantly heralded for its “masterful” and “thrilling” portrayal (Boston Globe), Shirley Jackson reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the literary genius behind such classics as “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House. In this “remarkable act of reclamation” (Neil Gaiman), Ruth Franklin envisions Jackson as “belonging to the great tradition of Hawthorne, Poe and James” (New York Times Book Review) and demonstrates how her unique contribution to the canon “so uncannily channeled women’s nightmares and contradictions that it is ‘nothing less than the secret history of American women of her era’ ” (Washington Post). Franklin investigates the “interplay between the life, the work, and the times with real skill and insight, making this fine book a real contribution not only to biography, but to mid-20th-century women’s history” (Chicago Tribune). “Wisely rescu[ing] Shirley Jackson from any semblance of obscurity” (Lena Dunham), Franklin’s invigorating portrait stands as the definitive biography of a generational avatar and an American literary genius.
The classic novel of a boy’s struggle for survival in WWII Poland, from the National Book Award–winning author of Steps and Being There. “In 1939, a six-year-old boy is sent by his anti-Nazi parents to a remote village in Poland where they believe he will be safe. Things happen, however, and the boy is left to roam the Polish countryside. . . . To the blond, blue-eyed peasants in this part of the country, the swarthy, dark-eyed boy who speaks the dialect of the educated class is either Jew, gypsy, vampire, or devil. They fear him and they fear what the Germans will do to them if he is found among them. So he must keep moving. In doing so, over a period of years, he observes every conceivable variation on the theme of horror” (Kirkus Reviews). Originally published in 1965, The Painted Bird established Jerzy Kosinski as a major literary figure. With sparse prose and vivid imagery, it is a story of mythic proportion and timeless human relevance. “One of the best . . . Written with deep sincerity and sensitivity.” —Elie Wiesel, The New York Times Book Review “Of all the remarkable fiction that emerged from World Wat II, nothing stands higher than Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird. A magnificent work of art, and a celebration of the individual will. No one who reads it will forget it; no one who reads it will be unmoved by it. The Painted Bird enriches our literature and our lives.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Miami Herald “Extraordinary . . . Literally staggering . . . One of the most powerful books I have ever read.” —Richard Kluger, Harper’s Magazine “One of our most significant writers.” —Newsweek

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