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Judaica
memoirs

My Crazy Century: A Memoir

 
 
Author
Ivan Klíma. Craig Cravens, trans.
Publisher Grove  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 1.6 inches
ISBN 9780802121707
Pages/Publication Date 534/2013
Daedalus Item Code 54391
List Price: $30.00
Sale Price: $5.98 $3.98
You Save: $26.02
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Description
In his intimate autobiography, spanning six decades of war, totalitarianism, censorship, and the fight for democracy in the 20th century, Czech writer Ivan Klíma—author of four New York Times Notable Books, Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light; No Saints or Angels; The Ultimate Intimacy; and Lovers for a Day—reflects on a remarkable life in remarkable times. His story begins in the 1930s on the outskirts of Prague, where he was unaware of his Jewish heritage until he was transported to the Terezín concentration camp. Miraculously, most of his family survived, only to return to a shattered country falling into the grip of totalitarian communism. A writer who counted Josef Škvorecký, Milan Kundera, and Václav Havel among his peers, Klíma gives us a profoundly rich and personal account of life behind the Iron Curtain.

"Renowned Czech writer Ivan Klíma masterfully recounts, first, what it was like for him as a Jewish child confronting with his family the inhumanities of the Theresienstadt concentration camp situated at the edge of their hometown, Prague. Then, more fully, he painstakingly recalls what it was like for him and his countrymen after the Nazi thugs were driven out by the Soviet Army and replaced for four decades by the Communist thugs. How Klíma and his Czechoslovakian colleagues—among them some of the best writers in postwar Europe—endured the relentless infraction of their fundamental rights is chronicled here through the private history of one who steadily stood up to his oppressors and who has thought deeply about the degradation and deformation conferred on a decent society by the lawless thuggery of Europe's twentieth-century ideological monsters, one who preached racial purity and the annihilation of the Jews, the other working-class purity and the annihilation of the wealthy, the bourgeoisie, and anyone capable of independent thought. In its telling, forthright intimacy Klíma's book merits a place alongside such eyewitness accounts of the evils of totalitarianism as Eugenia Ginzburg's Within the Whirlwind and Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich."—Philip Roth

 
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