Hanna Krall was born in Warsaw in 1937 and was a reporter for Polityka from 1957 until 1981, when martial law was imposed and her publications were banned. The recipient of numerous international literary awards, her books have been translated into 15 languages. She lives in Warsaw.
Madeline G. Levine
Madeline G. Levine was Czeslaw Milosz's prose translator. Her translation of Ida Fink's A Scrap of Time and Other Stories was awarded the PEN Book-of-the Month Club Translation Prize.
The Woman from Hamburg: and Other True Storiesby Hanna Krall
In twelve nonfiction tales, Hanna Krall reveals how the lives of World War II survivors are shaped in surprising ways by the twists and turns of historical events. A paralytic Jewish woman starts walking after her husband is suffocated by fellow Jews afraid that his coughing would reveal their hiding place to the Germans. A young American man refuses to let go of the ghost of his half brother who died in the Warsaw ghetto. He never knew the boy, yet he learns Polish to communicate with his dybbuk. A high ranking German officer conceives of a plan to kill Hitler after witnessing a mass execution of Jews in Eastern Poland.
Through Krall's adroit and journalistic style, her reader is thrown into a world where love, hatred, compassion, and indifference appear in places where we least expect them, illuminating the implacable logic of the surreal.
"It is precisely the difficult path [Krall] takes toward her topic that has made some of these texts masterpieces."
-- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (on Dancing at Other People's Weddings)
"Heartbreaking, strange . . . and marvelously told."
-- Die Zeit (on Proofs of Existence)
- Other Press, LLC
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I could not figure out for the life of me where the author was going with this. It made about as much sense as a drunks ramblings. I returned the book for a refund and I treasure books like gold and this was not hard for me to do. Unless you like being dizzy and confused I do not recommend this book.
Totally agree with previous reviewer, I was totally confused from the start. This is one of a very few that I did not finish, nor can I recommend. Very sorry!
The idea of this book is a good one, but it just is bad. It was originally written in Polish and there seems to be something lost in the translation of the book. The chapters don't make a whole lot of sense and just sort of go nowhere. I found myself either not understanding or not caring about what happened. If you can read in Polish, then perhaps give this book a chance, but the English translation just isn't good.