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ABBEY’S BOOKSELLER PICK — The contrast couldn’t be greater, as I read this novel on my holiday break in coastal paradise. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is devastating.
But within the horror, Morris has found heart and hope. Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project) accurately describes it as “moving, confronting and uplifting”. It’s a big story, with ethical and moral conundrums.
I find myself contemplating not only these past events, but also the sheer magnitude of inhumanity that people can inflict on others - while never once thinking of doing the same to their own family. And also knowing that inhumane acts and policies persist today.
I hope this novel finds the mainstream readership it warrants, to remind us of the danger to us all when we judge ‘the other’ and rationalise our bigotry. Craig Kirchner
The incredible story of the Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist and the woman he loved.
Lale is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies' man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport of men from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of Tetowierer - the tattooist - to mark his fellow prisoners, forever.
One of them is a young woman, Gita who steals his heart at first glance. His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good.
This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable.
'Morris climbs into the dark miasma of war and emerges with an extraordinary tale of the power of love' Leah Kaminsky