Sam Magavern; Foreword by Jonathan Rosen, Afterword by Risa Sodi
Palgrave Macmillan Trade
Primo Levi is best known for his memoir, Survival in Auschwitz, but he was also a scientist, fiction writer, and poet: in short, a Renaissance man, who did not want to be known exclusively as a Holocaust writer. Using Levi's own words as a springboard, Sam Magavern offers here for the first time a multi-faceted portrait of the man - as a writer. By exploring all of Levi's writings—including his short stories, poems, his delightful novels about blue-collar workers—Magavern introduces us to a talented writer who had a profound love of humanity, a sharp wit, a passion for his profession as a chemist—a man inspired by variety of things beyond his Holocaust experience. Magavern brings a fresh, personal sensibility to the way we think about Levi and produces a hybrid book—part life story and part literary biography, finally doing justice to the man's calm rationality and essential beliefs.
“This is a book about a survivor, not a victim, and what Magavern shows with remarkable skill is how Levi, the writer, managed to live in Auschwitz in a state Levi himself describes as “exceptional spiritedness”; a state which allowed him to record in exceptional detail the sometimes human, sometimes inhuman world he was forced to inhabit.” —Jewish Book World