Friday, January 27, 2017

Favourite Discoveries of 2016 (4)

Here is Amanda Gillies's favourite discovery of 2016:
Amanda's Favourite Discovery of 2016

Night by Elie Wiesel tr. Marion Wiesel (Original version written in 1958. This edition translated from French in 2006.) ISBN 0374500010, New York: Hill & Wang/Oprah Book Club

This novel was brought to my attention when the death of Elie Wiesel was announced earlier this year. The story of his life made me curious to discover his writings and this book, NIGHT, seemed a good place to start. Nobel Peace Prize winning Wiesel was a Romanian-born American professor and spent some time incarcerated in Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps during WW2. NIGHT is his account of his experiences as a prisoner in these camps. It describes the terrible things he experienced and how he struggled to survive. The loss of his parents and how he stopped believing in God, since he couldn't imagine God allowing such things to happen to people. It is a harrowing read yet also incredibly human and full of hope despite the darkness.

The original version was written in French but it has been translated into English by Wiesel's wife. The translation is extremely well done and the book describes such terrible things that it is painful to remember it actually happened. This book is described as being one of the most important works of the twentieth century. Given the way the world seems to be heading, Wiesel's message should be read by everyone as a reminder of just how far things can go.

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