Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1982 Booker Prize Winner

Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally


Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Length: 432 pages

About: Nazi becomes an unlikely hero

Style: 3rd person

Where: Germany

When: 1939-45



Publisher’s synopsis:

In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist became a living legend to the Jews of Cracow. This is the story of Oskar Schindler, a womaniser and drinker who risked his life to protect beleaguered Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland, who continually defied the SS, and who was transformed by the war into a man with a mission.




On the one hand, Oskar had made it his business to know the full face of the system, the rabid face behind the veil of bureaucratic decency. He knows, that is, earlier than most would dare know it, what Sonderhandlung means, that though Treblinka, and in that complex west of Cracow known to Poles as Oswiecim-Brzezinka but which will be known to the West by its German name Auschwitz-Birkenau.




This remarkable book has the immediacy and the almost unbearable detail of a thousand eye witnesses who forgot nothing.

New York Times Book Review


Not so good:

In other words, Schindler's Ark is a book which demonstrates that behind the statistic of six million Holocaust deaths, there are six million personal tragedies. More, indeed, if we count all the people who lost their friends, lovers, sisters brothers, parents, grandparents and – God help us – children.

I'm ashamed to say that it's precisely for that reason that I put off reading the 1982 Booker winner for years. I found intimate terror in Primo Levi and Sophie's Choice so depressing that I avoided similar material – until this blog series reached Schindler's Ark. My reasoning was deplorable, both in terms of moral weakness and because (as I am perhaps one of the last people on earth to discover) Schindler's Ark is actually one of the most uplifting books you could hope to read. In spite of everything.

For the benefit of those wallowing in the same kind of ignorance as I was, Oskar Schindler is a man who offered, in Keneally's words, "an acre of safety in that square mileage of horror" and saved more than 1,000 Jews from the death camps.

The Guardian Booker Blog, Sam Jordan, 15th May 2009 for full review click here


About the author

Thomas Keneally was born in Sydney in 1935. He completed his schooling at various schools on the New South Wales north coast before commencing theological studies for the Catholic priesthood. He abandoned this vocation in 1960 and turned to clerical work and teaching before publishing his first novel in 1964. Keneally has been short-listed for the Booker Prize on four occasions: in 1972 for The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest in 1975, and Confederates in 1979. Thomas Keneally was awarded the Order of Australia in 1983 for his services to Australian Literature. He lives in Sydney.





















































































































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Age guide: 12+



Novels by same author:


Oscar-winning film entitled Schindler's List directed by Steven Spielberg.





2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here


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