A SQUARE OF SKY by Janina David


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Almost novelistic in its form and detachment, this is the autobiography of a Jewish girl who grew up in Warsaw in the '30's and her later imprisonment and escape. It is all the more terrifying in its cool self-control. A restless, precocious, only child, Janie feels tyrannized by her beautiful mother. When the bombing of Warsaw begins, this self-centered childish personality becomes curiously dispassionate in temper, viewing the slow destruction of the entire population by typhus, hunger, bombs, and the extermination camps. Yet family life continues, in one overcrowded flat or hiding place after another, until finally the ghetto is as eerily empty as a city after an atomic disaster. Her account of human survival is inevitably absorbing even though it is difficult to indicate a readership which was reluctant, initially, and is still more removed in time by now.

Publisher: Norton