Primo Levi by Myriam Anissimov
The Tragedy of an Optimist

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Synopsis

Primo Levi is represented in this world almost entirely by his writings, and his public self--shy, intelligent, diffident--has long hidden the true Levi. This major biography delves deeply into the life and mind of the controversial writer, philosopher, and Holocaust witness, exploring the complex nature of a man who felt misunderstood, certain that future generations would inevitably forget and even deny the Holocaust.
 

About Myriam Anissimov

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Anissimov was born in a refugee camp in Switzerland.
 
Published January 1, 1999 by Overlook Hardcover. 608 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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She believes he threw himself down the deep stairwell of his apartment building because of depression, rage, and despair (though the writer left no note), but she also records his comment that Auschwitz failed to destroy his desire to live: “That experience increased my desire, it gave my life a ...

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Publishers Weekly

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At Auschwitz, Levi once broke off an icicle to relieve his desperate thirst, only to have it snatched away by a German guard. Warum? he asked, and the guard retorted, Here there's no why. This

Jan 04 1999 | Read Full Review of Primo Levi: The Tragedy of an...

Publishers Weekly

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At Auschwitz, Levi once broke off an icicle to relieve his desperate thirst, only to have it snatched away by a German guard.

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London Review of Books

Levi, the lucid and eloquent survivor of Auschwitz, the man who had returned home and had stayed at home since 1945, who had converted much of his life into a work of witness, a defence of light against the century’s darkness, seemed not only to have taken his life but to have cancelled it, taken...

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The New York Review of Books

I would like to call attention to two mistakes made by Mr. Tony Judt in his long review of my biography of Primo Levi [NYR, May 29].

Aug 12 1999 | Read Full Review of Primo Levi: The Tragedy of an...

Carlin Romano

Depression alone can account for suicide, but Angier seeks the psychological roots of Levi's depression, even though a family history of suicide suggests a genetic predisposition.

Jun 21 2002 | Read Full Review of Primo Levi: The Tragedy of an...

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