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Etty Hillesum

An Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork

Etty Hillesum; With a Foreword by Eva Hoffman


Etty Hillesum Download image

ISBN10: 0805050876
ISBN13: 9780805050875

Trade Paperback

416 Pages



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In this contemporary classic, Hillesum's diary and letters are published together to provide the fullest possible portrait of an extraordinary woman. In the darkest years of Nazi occupation and genocide, Hillesum remained a celebrant of life whose intelligence, sympathy, and almost impossible gallantry were themselves acts of inner resistance. Often seen as an adult counterpart to Anne Frank, Hillesum testifies in these pages to the possibility of awareness and compassion in the face of the most devastating challenges to one's humanity. She died at Auschwitz in 1943, aged 29.

This edition also includes a foreword by Eva Hoffman.


Praise for Etty Hillesum

"[This book is] unsurpassed in Holocaust literature . . . A story of spiritual growth such as I have seldom seen anywhere, written with the interior richness and woven design of a Jamesian novel . . . A marvelous gift."—Terrence Des Pres, The New York Times Book Review

"A stunning achievement of the human spirit."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Etty Hillesum's diaries represent the essence of the human spirit—the indomitability of hope."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"An unusual book that I read at once with unusual interest: such a tender, sensitive creature."—Primo Levi

"Etty Hillesum could be a contemporary liberated woman beset by traditional and untraditional perplexities about marriage, career, love, sex . . . She is an exuberant celebrant of life."—Marie Syrkin, The New Republic

"Remarkable . . . What made life meaningful to Etty was the rare combination of erotic, spiritual, and intellectual passions that made up her 'thinking heart' . . . A truly great book."—The Washington Post Book World

Reviews from Goodreads