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MEMOIRS, 1968-

Wiesel tells us about his marriage to Marion (“for the first time, at age forty, I experience daily life with a woman”), his...

            Nobel Prize-winner Wiesel (All Rivers Run to the Sea, 1996, etc.) concludes his memoirs in his characteristically engaging and conversational tone.

            Wiesel tells us about his marriage to Marion (“for the first time, at age forty, I experience daily life with a woman”), his frequent meals with Golda Meir and Teddy Kolleck, and the birth of his son Elisha.  We read about his exploits as human rights activist:  a meeting in Paris to protest UNESCO’s policy towards Israel; a 1980 march for Cambodia; his efforts to get Abraham Sarfati, a Moroccan Jewish political prisoner, released; a trip to South Africa to witness apartheid; testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about ratifying the Genocide Treaty (“when I find out that Jesse Helms is chairing the session, my instinct is to turn around and head back to New York”).  We follow Wiesel’s teaching exploits at City College, Boston University, and Yale.  We accompany him on a speaking tour that takes him from Washington to Moscow, and we hear Lamentations read at a Tisha B’Av service in Warsaw.  Of the conversations with famous folks Wiesel reports, the most interesting is his meeting with Jean-Marie Lustiger, the Jewish-born archbishop of Paris, who explains to Wiesel why he still considers himself a Jew, even as Wiesel explains to Lustiger why Jews find that position untenable.  Finally, Wiesel attempts to come to grips with the suicides of three writers – Primo Levi, Jerzy Kosinski, and Piotr Rawicz.  It is, to be sure, the memoir of a famous man, one who assumes his travels and conversations and stage fright are interesting simply because they are his.  He is not always right – but the many times he is make the book worthwhile.  (16 pages photos)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-679-43917-X

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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