Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Reader's Shelf


From Library Journal

Surviving Genocide:  Memoirs of the Unthinkable




The Knock at the Door: A Mother's Survival of the Armenian Genocide
The Knock at the Door: A Mother's Survival of the Armenian Genocide
By Ahnert, Margaret Ajemian
2012-06 - Beaufort Books
9780825306839 Check Our Catalog

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Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land
Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land
By Nomberg, Przytyk Sara
Author Nomberg-Przytyk, Sara
Editor Pfefferkorn, Eli
1986-08 - University of North Carolina Press
9780807841600 Check Our Catalog

"From the moment I got to Auschwitz I was completely detached. I disconnected my heart and intellect in an act of self-defense, despair, and hopelessness." With these words Sara Nomberg-Przytyk begins this painful and compelling account of her experiences while imprisoned for two years in the infamous death camp. Writing twenty years after her liberation, she recreates the events of a dark past which, in her own words, would have driven her mad had she tried to relive it sooner. But while she records unimaginable atrocities, she also richly describes the human compassion that stubbornly survived despite the backdrop of camp depersonalization and imminent extermination.
Commemorative in spirit and artistic in form, "Auschwitz" convincingly portrays the paradoxes of human nature in extreme circumstances. With consummate understatement Nomberg-Przytyk describes the behavior of concentration camp inmates as she relentlessly and pitilessly examines her own motives and feelings. In this world unmitigated cruelty coexisted with nobility, rapacity with self-sacrifice, indifference with selfless compassion. This book offers a chilling view of the human drama that existed in Auschwitz.
From her portraits of camp personalities, an extraordinary and horrifying profile emerges of Dr. Josef Mengele, whose medical experiments resulted in the slaughter of nearly half a million Jews. Nomberg-Przytyk's job as an attendant in Mengle's hospital allowed her to observe this Angel of Death firsthand and to provide us with the most complete description to date of his monstrous activities.
The original Polish manuscript was discovered by Eli Pfefferkorn in 1980 in the Yad Vashem Archive in Jerusalem. Notknowing the fate of the journal's author, Pfefferkorn spent two years searching and finally located Nomberg-Przytyk in Canada. Subsequent interviews revealed the history of the manuscript, the author's background, and brought the journal into perspective. …More


When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge
When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge
By Him, Chanrithy
2001-04 - W. W. Norton & Company
9780393322101 Check Our Catalog

In this luminous memoir, Chanrithy Him takes readers into the chaotic world of the Khmer Rouge. Over the course of four years five members of her family, including her parents, die, and so do nearly two million other Khmer. Out of shards of memory, she has assembled a spirited account of coming of age in a dark time, and a heart-breaking elegy for everything that was lost along the way. Photos. …More


Fax from Sarajevo
Fax from Sarajevo
By Kubert, Joe
1998-11 - Dark Horse Comics
1569713464 Check Our Catalog

In 1945, we told the world, "Never again". In 1992, the promise was broken into bloody shards. That was the year the war broke out in Sarajevo, Bosnia, the year that genocide revisited the planet. It was the year that Ervin Rustemagic -- an international businessman whose clients included author Joe Kubert -- found himself and his family trapped in a city under siege. When the shells and gunfire tore the city asunder, Ervin's only means of communication to the outside world was via his fax machine -- he sent messages to Joe which could be refaxed to his friends on the outside. As Joe began to receive these messages from Ervin, he did what he had done for years -- what he had become famous for doing -- what he put the story to paper. This full-color graphic non-fiction book is one that anyone can read, that everyone should read. What Maus is to World War II, Fax from Sarajevo will be to the Bosnian War. …More


An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography
An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography
By Rusesabagina, Paul
With Zoellner, Tom
2007-03 - Penguin Books
9780143038603 Check Our Catalog

The riveting life story of Rusesabagina--the man whose heroism inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda"--is sure to become a classic of tolerance literature. "An Ordinary Man" explores what the film could not: the inner life of the man who became one of the most prominent public faces of that terrible conflict. 8-page photo insert. …More


Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur
Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur
By Bashir, Halima
With Lewis, Damien
2009-09 - One World
9780345510464 Check Our Catalog

Born into the Zaghawa tribe in the Sudanese desert, Halima Bashir received a good education away from her rural surroundings (thanks to her doting, politically astute father) and at twenty-four became her village's first formal doctor. Yet not even Bashir's degree could protect her from the encroaching conflict that would consume her homeland. Janjaweed Arab militias savagely assaulted the Zaghawa, often with the backing of the Sudanese military. Then, in early 2004, the Janjaweed attacked Bashir's village and surrounding areas, raping forty-two schoolgirls and their teachers. Bashir, who treated the traumatized victims, some as young as eight years old, could no longer remain quiet. But breaking her silence ignited a horrifying turn of events.
Raw and riveting, Tears of the Desert is the first memoir ever written by a woman caught up in the war in Darfur. It is a survivor's tale of a conflicted country, a resilient people, and an uncompromising spirit.
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