An elegy, a gift, a poignant record.



Haber, a first-time author and child of Holocaust survivors, memorializes the hardships her family faced during World War II.

Beginning by lamenting the loss of the fading generation of Holocaust survivors, Haber frames her story as a plea to never forget the atrocities of the war. By the end, however, it’s apparent that Haber wrote this book for her father, both as a comfort to him in his old age and as assurance that his story would not be forgotten. But more than focusing on her father’s suffering, Haber details her parents’ deep love for each other, her mother’s long and complicated process of Jewish conversion, and the consequences of her parents’ decision to stay in Germany after the war. Their lives, Haber writes, were poisoned not only by post-traumatic stress from surviving genocide, but also by Germany’s unextinguished anti-Semitism. For the family, staying in Straubing after the war meant living as outsiders. Haber recalls being bullied not just by the kids in her class, but also by teachers and her friends’ families. Yet even as she catalogs her vexed upbringing in postwar Germany with interfaith parents, Haber describes growing up in what ultimately registers as a very loving though insular home. In describing her parents’ relationship, Haber writes, “They were like Adam and Eve,” repopulating their lives and families with loved ones. “I’m still resentful of what happened to my father,” she says, and even as an adult, after moving overseas to build a new life away from the land where such violence undid her family, “I also feel that I am being held hostage by the Holocaust,” illustrating the cycle of paranoia and emotional damage she unwittingly passed down to her own children. Especially moving is the inclusion of old photographs of Haber’s family who perished in concentration camps. Rather than overstating what was already strikingly described in the writing, the photos take on symbolic meaning as the feeble remains of lost relatives. Unapologetic and unconcerned with gracefulness, Haber’s writing spares not a moment in burrowing to the core of multigenerational trauma. Her account itemizes the suffering not just of her family, but of all those touched by the brutalities of Nazi Germany.

An elegy, a gift, a poignant record.

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2013

ISBN: 978-0615633619

Page Count: 126

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2013

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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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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