Survival In Auschwitz
By Primo Levi
(Touchstone, Paperback, 9780684826806, 192pp.)
Publication Date: September 1, 1995
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In 1943, Primo Levi, a twenty-five-year-old chemist and "Italian citizen of Jewish race," was arrested by Italian fascists and deported from his native Turin to Auschwitz. Survival in Auschwitz is Levi's classic account of his ten months in the German death camp, a harrowing story of systematic cruelty and miraculous endurance. Remarkable for its simplicity, restraint, compassion, and even wit, Survival in Auschwitz remains a lasting testament to the indestructibility of the human spirit. Included in this new edition is an illuminating conversation between Philip Roth and Primo Levi never before published in book form.
Primo Levi was born in Turin, Italy, in 1919, and trained as a chemist. He was arrested as a member of the anti-Fascist resistance, and then deported to Auschwitz in 1944. Levi's experience in the death camp and his subsequent travels through Eastern Europe are the subject of his two classic memoirs, Survival in Auschwitz and The Reawakening (also available from Collier books), as well as Moments of Reprieve. In addition, he is the author of The Periodic Table, If Not Now, When?, which won the distinguished Viareggio and Campiello prizes when published in Italy in 1982, and most recently, The Monkeys Wrench. "The first thing that needs to be said about Primo Levi," as John Gross remarked in The New York Times, "is that he might well have become a writer, and a very good writer, under any conditions; he is gifted and highly perceptive, a man with a lively curiosity, humor, and a sense of style." Dr. Levi retired from his position as manager of a Turin chemical factory in 1977 to devote himself full-time to writing. He died in 1987.
One of the most important and gifted writers of our time.
David Caute, New Statesman Survival in Auschwitz is a stark prose poem on the deepest sufferings of man told without self-pity, but with a muted passion and intensity, an occasional cry of anguish, which makes it one of the most remarkable documents I have ever read.
Meredith Tax, The Village Voice More than anything else I've read or seen, Levi's books helped me not only to grasp the reality of genocide but to figure out what it means for people like me who grew up sheltered from the storm.
The Times Literary Supplement (London) Survival in Auschwitz has the inevitability of the true work of art.