A PEOPLE BOOK OF THE WEEK WINNER OF THE JQ-WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE "A haunting tribute to survivors and those lost forever--and a reminder, in our own troubled era, never to forget." --People An "exceptional" (The Wall Street Journal) and "poignant" (The New York Times) book in the tradition of rediscovered works like Suite Fran aise and The Nazi Officer's Wife, the powerful memoir of a fearless Jewish bookseller on a harrowing fight for survival across Nazi-occupied Europe.In 1921, Fran oise Frenkel--a Jewish woman from Poland--fulfills a dream. She opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin's first French bookshop, attracting artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. The shop becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as Nazi ideology begins to poison the culturally rich city. In 1935, the scene continues to darken. First come the new bureaucratic hurdles, followed by frequent police visits and book confiscations. Fran oise's dream finally shatters on Kristallnacht in November 1938, as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed. La Maison du Livre is miraculously spared, but fear of persecution eventually forces Fran oise on a desperate, lonely flight to Paris. When the city is bombed, she seeks refuge across southern France, witnessing countless horrors: children torn from their parents, mothers throwing themselves under buses. Secreted away from one safe house to the next, Fran oise survives at the heroic hands of strangers risking their lives to protect her. Published quietly in 1945, then rediscovered nearly sixty years later in an attic, A Bookshop in Berlin is a remarkable story of survival and resilience, of human cruelty and human spirit. In the tradition of Suite Fran aise and The Nazi Officer's Wife, this book is the tale of a fearless woman whose lust for life and literature refuses to leave her, even in her darkest hours.
- ISBN-13: 9781501199851
- ISBN-10: 1501199854
- Publisher: Atria Books
- Publish Date: August 2020
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.6 pounds
- Page Count: 288
Book Clubs: True stories of insight and hope
An outstanding memoir can rev up any reading group. These four authors share their incredible stories in expertly crafted narratives.
In Small Fry, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, daughter of artist Chrisann Brennan and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, looks back at her turbulent California upbringing. When the author was a child, Jobs wouldn’t acknowledge her as his daughter, and she and her mother struggled to make ends meet. Over time, she grew closer to her father, but his remote and thorny personality brought consistent friction to their relationship. This electrifying narrative provides an up-close look at Jobs while exploring timeless questions about family, loyalty and love.
In 1921, Françoise Frenkel established a French-language bookstore in Berlin. The Nazis ascended to power, and in the late 1930s she managed to flee to France and eventually to Switzerland. In 1945, she published A Bookshop in Berlin, a chronicle of her terrifying journey to escape persecution due to her Jewish heritage. The work was rediscovered more than six decades later and first published in the United States in 2019. This spellbinding and suspenseful memoir will prompt discussions on history, morality and human rights.
In Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, Haben Girma tells her remarkable story. From a young age, Haben, the daughter of Eritrean refugees, was determined to make the world a better place for people like herself. In describing her experiences in school—she was the first deafblind student to graduate from Harvard Law—and as an advocate for those with disabilities, she offers inspiring anecdotes and life lessons with humor and heart.
Albert Woodfox’s Solitary is an unforgettable account of the author’s 40-plus years in solitary confinement. Woodfox, a member of the Black Panther Party, was doing time for armed robbery in Angola Prison in 1972 when a white guard there was murdered. Along with a fellow Black Panther, Woodfox was blamed for the killing, despite a clear lack of evidence, and sentenced to life in solitary confinement. His courageous memoir is an excellent jumping-off point for important conversations about race and the history of the American penal system. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, it’s at once an invaluable critique and an outstanding personal narrative.