The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
A Hidden Inheritance

91%

19 Critic Reviews

...with special appeal to art historians, this account is nonetheless rich in drama and valuable anecdote.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

The definitive illustrated edition of the international bestseller

Two hundred and sixty-four Japanese wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox: Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in his great-uncle Iggie's Tokyo apartment. When he later inherited the netsuke, they unlocked a far more dramatic story than he could ever have imagined.

From a burgeoning empire in Odessa to fin de siècle Paris, from occupied Vienna to postwar Tokyo, de Waal traces the netsuke's journey through generations of his remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. With sumptuous photographs of the netsuke collection and full-color images from de Waal's family archive, the illustrated edition of The Hare with Amber Eyes transforms a deeply intimate saga into a work of visual art.

 

About Edmund de Waal

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EDMUND DE WAAL porcelain has been displayed in many museum collections around the world, and he has recently made an installation for the dome of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He was apprenticed as a potter, studied in Japan, and studied English at Cambridge. He is Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster and lives in London with his family.
 
Published November 13, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 433 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, History, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Hare with Amber Eyes
All: 19 | Positive: 18 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 03 2010

... this narrative proves a marvelously absorbing synthesis of art history, detective story and memoir.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Victoria Segal on Mar 04 2011

De Waal, a potter who is most comfortable with the hard tactile forms of the material world, breaks his measured prose to write with feeling...

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Veronica Horwell on Jun 25 2010

He has told their story wonderfully...this is a beautiful and unusual book...

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Rachel Cooke on Jun 05 2010

I loved the story of the Ephrussis, but I am mystified by de Waal's insistence on gilding it with his own flimsy abstractions.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on May 31 2010

...with special appeal to art historians, this account is nonetheless rich in drama and valuable anecdote.

Read Full Review of The Hare with Amber Eyes: A H... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

The Telegraph

Good
Reviewed by Gerald Jacobs on Jun 20 2010

Whichever time or place he is writing about, he is attuned to its atmosphere...

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Christian Science Monitor

Excellent
Reviewed by Heller McAlpin on Sep 07 2010

...“The Hare With Amber Eyes” is a wondrous book, as lustrous and exquisitely crafted as the netsuke at its heart.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Donna Seaman on Feb 27 2013

...an intricately dimensional, profoundly involving first book, a sensitive and astute inquiry into culture and family, inheritance and preservation, and the secret life of objects.

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The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Madeline Wheatley on Jun 01 2010

If you are one of those readers who walk straight past the biography section of bookshops and libraries, make an exception for this book. You won't be disappointed.

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Express

Good
Reviewed by Charlotte Heathcote on Jan 30 2011

...De Waal writes in vivid, intensely visual, almost tactile prose, demanding to be read at a leisurely pace and rewarding concentration, telescoping world events into a moving family history.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Excellent
Reviewed by Andrew Holgate on Aug 31 2010

...a memoir of the very first rank, one full of grace, economy, and extraordinary emotion.

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Cleveland.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Vikas Turakhia on Aug 12 2011

That de Waal can make all this matter to a reader ignorant about netsuke is a testament to his masterful accomplishment.

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M/C Anderson

Excellent
Reviewed by Sandra Burr on Jun 07 2011

His pacing is superb. The story unfolds gently. Reading it is like opening a delicately wrapped gift, each layer revealing something new and wonderful.

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Metro

Excellent
Reviewed by Daragh Reddin on Jun 22 2010

It’s De Waal’s ability to see world events through the prism of family history, as well as his lambent prose, that makes this book every bit as exquisite as the diminutive sculptures that inspired it.

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Critical Mob

Excellent
Reviewed by Damian Van Denburgh on Feb 27 2013

Terrifying, heartbreaking, and altogether astonishing, The Hare with Amber Eyes is a one-of-a-kind book that's guaranteed to become a classic.

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SeniorWomen.com

Good
Reviewed by Julia Sneden on Feb 27 2013

This reflection on the story-telling inherent in the handing-down of objects will strike a chord in anyone who has inherited family treasures, no matter how small and un-dramatic their story.

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BBC History Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Rob Attar on Feb 27 2013

Elegant and charming like the carvings themselves, The Hare with Amber Eyes is a book that many readers will treasure.

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The Daily Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Corrie Perkin on May 19 2011

... I’m quite certain you will romp through the final chapters and possibly shed some tears...

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Douglas Phillips

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Tooby on Mar 18 2014

In being such a vivid and moving story, The Hare With Amber Eyes now becomes a wayfinder on a journey of further inquisition, by author and his readers, of the relationship of people and their values to beautiful and meaningful things.

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Reader Rating for The Hare with Amber Eyes
79%

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