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Losing the Dead (VMC) Paperback – 7 Nov 2013

3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; Reissue edition (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844089290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844089291
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

After a lifetime spent steadfastly ignoring her parents' accounts of their struggle for survival in World War II Poland, novelist Lisa Appignanesi played the "ultimate generation game" as her mother's increasing old age impelled her to discover the truth about her family's past. Growing up as part of an immigrant Jewish family in Canada, she had recoiled at "the implicit message...that you could live through terrible things and come out at the other end to sip a glass of tea or Schnapps". Yet years later she found herself en route to Poland to "excavate" for herself the story of her parents' amazing endurance--and to reclaim her family history.

Appignanesi's parents Hena and Aron, together with her older brother and maternal grandmother, had escaped certain death in the Warsaw ghetto by tenacity, audacity (especially on the part of her mother)- -and the ultimate suppression of their Jewish identity. To this end they were helped out enormously by the heroism and sacrifices of individuals and in particular by Hena's mysterious, fabled brother Arek, who disappeared from view in 1943. Losing the Dead swings effortlessly between Appignanesi's comedic childhood reminiscences, her tireless search through Polish archives and registers for forgotten identities and the dramatic, immediate narrative of her family's day-to-day existence in the terrifying war years. It is a story of loss and deprivation, yet ultimately one of profound understanding, as Appignanesi resurrects her past in order to lay it to rest, proving that Losing the Dead is a truly commemorative memoir.--Catherine Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Distinguished . . . Appignanesi has a sharp eye for the details of everyday life in the Warsaw ghetto . . . Read Losing the Dead and you begin to appreciate what life must have been like for hundreds of thousands of European Jews during the long nightmare of the Third Reich (The Times)

This book crosses genre, combining profound story telling and hard history. It is wonderful and heartbreaking in equal measure, and it remains an astonishing work (Edmund de Waal, author of THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 3 May 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book, because it shows how individuals affect each other. There are mysteries at the beginning and the end, there are no easy resolutions, but the author manages to show us her parents so clearly that you entirely see how she herself was brought up. The other fascinating thing about it is that she makes it clear how relationships can be simulataneously successful and damaging, and how ultimately, however much we have been influenced by our families, we must take responsibility for ourselves and our own moral decisions. The depiction of the author's mother in particular is amazing - it encapsulates all the admiration and ambivalence so many of us seem to feel for our mothers. A resonant book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
not the usual holocaust story, but one written from an unusual angle. Strongly recommended for the post-Holocaust generation.
Victor Ross
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating, moving, beautifully written memoir. Recommend highly, but I think title is offputting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is bit in appropriate because I have ent read the book completely yet. I heard the authors name mentioned on a radio program and thought I would like to read her book. Also, recently I tend to be attracted by rather unhappy lives and think I must cast around for more light hearted stories. I will write a further review, if I remember, after I have read it through.
As usual I enjoy buying books through Amazon - or whatever - its fun when they arrive - even if the book isnt going to be!
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