The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
A War Story

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Synopsis

The New York Times bestseller: a true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.


After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these "guests," and human names for the animals, it's no wonder that the zoo's code name became "The House Under a Crazy Star." Best-selling naturalist and acclaimed storyteller Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story—sharing Antonina's life as "the zookeeper's wife," while examining the disturbing obsessions at the core of Nazism. Winner of the 2008 Orion Award.
 

About Diane Ackerman

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Diane Ackerman is the best-selling author of The Zookeeper's Wife, A Natural History of the Senses, and many other books.
 
Published September 17, 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company. 384 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Zookeeper's Wife

The New York Times

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“You use animal names for people and people’s names for animals!” To fend off cuteness — Herriot’s Heroes — Ackerman returns often to the carnage outside the zoo’s gates: the routine murder of children, Himmler’s determination to destroy every stone in the ghetto as a birthday present for the Füh...

Sep 09 2007 | Read Full Review of The Zookeeper's Wife: A War S...

The Guardian

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The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman Find this on the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 Warsaw zoo was badly damaged and many of th...

Feb 07 2009 | Read Full Review of The Zookeeper's Wife: A War S...

Examiner

The author, Diane Ackerman,widely known for her books which focus on coming to atonement with the natural world around us, ventured out of her normal zone for this novel, but her anecdotes and commentary about the wildlife in the zoo and crimes against animals are touching and poignant, sprinkled...

May 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Zookeeper's Wife: A War S...

Book Reporter

Much of Jan's work for the Underground kept him away from home, so it fell to Antonina to look after their young son, the remaining menagerie and the Guests.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Zookeeper's Wife: A War S...

Entertainment Weekly

In her capaciously researched, gushingly overwritten The Zookeeper's Wife, Diane Ackerman (A Natural History of the Senses) recounts the true story of Antonina and Jan Zabinski, Warsaw zookeepers who, during World War II, transformed their zoo into a hideout for some 300 Jews fleeing the Nazis.

Sep 07 2007 | Read Full Review of The Zookeeper's Wife: A War S...

USA Today

Then the SS and their friends staged a drunken hunting party, shooting the remaining helpless animals in their cages.Distraught at the deaths of the animals they considered part of their family Antonina had bottle-fed many of the nursing baby animals the Zabinskis accepted that they couldn't sa...

Sep 25 2008 | Read Full Review of The Zookeeper's Wife: A War S...

Deseret News

Using Antonina Zabinska's diary and "loose notes," the prolific Diane Ackerman in "The Zookeeper's Wife" tells the true story of two Christian zookeepers in the Warsaw Zoo who saved up to 300 people from the Nazis.

Sep 09 2007 | Read Full Review of The Zookeeper's Wife: A War S...

Monsters and Critics

The book, whose focus is on Antonia (wife to Jan—the zookeeper) works to not only take care of the animals, but also hide Jews in the animal cages.

Sep 27 2007 | Read Full Review of The Zookeeper's Wife: A War S...

BookIdeas.com

Dedicated zoologists and lovers of animals, Jan and his wife, Antonina, managed one of the more advanced zoos in Europe that provided interesting and natural-looking enclosures for the animals and also contained some rare specimens.

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World War II Database

Although at a couple of places these details seemed slightly distracting, I truly enjoyed the many diversions because, after all, this was a book about Antonina and her family, not merely the war itself.

Apr 15 2005 | Read Full Review of The Zookeeper's Wife: A War S...

Reader Rating for The Zookeeper's Wife
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