Books by Marion Wiesel

NIGHT by Elie Wiesel
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"Wiesel's memoir, first published in English in 1960, has emerged as a classic work of literature from that darkest of eras, and it deserves to be read and reread for decades to come."
A reissue of Wiesel's (Open Heart, 2012, etc.) foundational, exemplary memoir of the Holocaust. Read full book review >
NIGHT by Elie Wiesel
by Elie Wiesel, translated by Marion Wiesel
Released: Jan. 16, 2006

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance. Read full book review >
THE TRIAL OF GOD by Elie Wiesel
Released: May 17, 1979

Inside "the kingdom of night"—the concentration camp—Wiesel actually witnessed a trial which put God up as the accused, charged with being either accepting of or blind to the murder of HIS chosen people. Now he's made it into a dramatic parable, set in 1649 in a Russian village that's just undergone a pogrom. Only two Jews remain, an innkeeper and his violated daughter. When roving minstrels arrive by accident at the devastated town and offer to put on a Purim play, the innkeeper suggests they hold a trial instead. "I want to understand why He is giving the killers the strength and the victims the tears and the shame of helplessness. . . . Listen: either He is responsible or He is not. If He is, let's judge Him; if He is not, let Him stop judging us." A stranger, clearly Satan, arrives to serve as defense attorney. The argument he puts forward is essentially that the kingdom of death is God's to add to as he wishes; His miracle is to allow even one Jew to survive as testimony—and one always does survive. The kernel, then, is arresting; but the dialogue is stir and lifeless, and two of the three acts seem long prologues and little else. Finding a shape for the ultimate seriousness that infuses his thought remains Wiesel's thorn; his success here again is only intermittent. Read full book review >
A JEW TODAY by Elie Wiesel
Released: Oct. 12, 1978

Recent essays. The nature of the Jew: "Only a Jew opts for Abraham—who questions—and for God—who is questioned." Autobiographical reminiscences of a friendship with Francois Mauriac. Apartheid in South Africa and the consequent moral dilemma faced by Jews there. A nightmarish return to Wiesel's childhood hometown in Hungary. His Hasidic grandfather, shortly before the Holocaust, cautioning: "You are Jewish, your task is to remain Jewish. The rest is up to God." A lurid but effective quasi-fictional tale about a heretical convert who journeys to a transplanted Hasidic settlement in Israel after the Holocaust to explain that his heresy was designed to "punish" God for not saving the Jews. Best of all—and, as always with Wiesel, acerbic, accusatory, uncompromising—is a closing critique of our lately "desanctified" Holocaust literature. "Ask any survivor. He will confirm to you that it was easier for him to imagine himself free in Auschwitz than it would be for you to imagine yourself a prisoner there." Saying "Auschwitz, never heard of it" may be no worse than saying "Oh, yes, we know all about it." "Accept the idea that you will never penetrate the cursed and spellbound universe [survivors] carry within themselves with unfailing loyalty. . . . If you cannot communicate with them on their level, do not try to bring them down to yours." No cumulative effect but, with the Holocaust, a strong, inescapable impact. Read full book review >
THE OATH by Elie Wiesel
Released: Nov. 15, 1973

Again Wiesel's richly somber, close and faintly cantorial prose flows over and repolishes the same impenetrable mysteries: that the massacre of innocents transmits a lifelong burden to the survivor; and that the survivor, both doomed and blessed, is forced to confront the knowledge of death which is "not a solution but a question, the most human question of all." This is the narrative of Azriel, the Na-venadnik or perpetual wanderer, who tells the story of his murdered Jewish village — his search for the "soul of the world" among holy men, rationalists, pragmatists and the sacred certainties of beggars and madmen. But Azriel is under an oath of silence, demanded of the village by the "madman" Moshe in the hours before the holocaust — is not testimony Death's ally, the articulation of killing inevitably linked to the act? Therefore, proclaimed Moshe, "we will testify no more." However, since death is "the primary defect. . . in creation," Azriel does tell his story to a young listener to prevent his suicide — to cheat death. Wiesel confronts concepts of fact and symbol and God and man while the meditations, Talmudic discourse, and tales of bestiality and nobility converge toward that night of absolute fear preceding the massacre — and the author mounts horror like a lectern. As in Beggar in Jerusalem (1970) and others, Wiesel examines the possibility of answers to the human dilemma with the experiential agony inherent in the question. Demanding and rewarding. Read full book review >