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"A survivor of Theresienstadt and a world-class Czech pianist shares her amazing story of survival and triumph. Now living in London since she relocated from Jerusalem to be closer to her only son (now deceased), Herz-Sommer is shortly turning 108, still playing the piano, disciplined and abstemious in her daily habits and fairly active, as Stoessinger records over interviews with her between 2004 and 2011. These are short segments that amplify important aspects of her life, such as her acquaintanceship as a young girl in Prague with Franz Kafka and his circle, her happy though too-brief marriage and successful early career as a concert pianist and teacher, the birth of her son in 1937 just as the Nazis were exerting their terror over the Jewish community in Prague and their abrupt deportation to Theresienstadt in 1943. …[W]hat Stoessinger’s work reveals startlingly and firsthand are details of life in the concentration camp, especially how the musicians coped with the horrible conditions and even formed a vibrant community. … 'Every concert played there,' Stoessinger writes, 'became a moral victory against the enemy.' … Rounding out this work are memories from Herz-Sommer’s students and friends, reflections on favorite authors such as Spinoza, Rilke and Zweig and even recipes."—Kirkus Reviews
“I have rarely read a Holocaust survivor’s memoir as enriching and meaningful. Get Caroline Stoessinger’s book, A Century of Wisdom, telling Alice Herz-Sommer’s tale of her struggles and triumphs. You will feel rewarded.”—Elie Wiesel
“A Century of Wisdom is a stately and elegant book about an artist who found deliverance in her passion for music. Caroline Stoessinger writes with a special purity, as though she were arranging pearls on a string of silk.”—Pat Conroy
“As one of millions who fell in love on YouTube with Alice Herz-Sommer, a 108-year-old Holocaust survivor who plays the piano and greets each day with no hint of bitterness, I’m grateful to Caroline Stoessinger for writing a book that explains this mystery. You will be inspired by the story of Alice Herz-Sommer, who lives to teach us.”—Gloria Steinem
“I walked on the cobblestones in Prague for thirty years wondering who might have walked on them before me: Kafka, Freud, Mahler. It feels like a miracle to have encountered, in Caroline Stoessinger’s wonderful book, Alice Herz-Sommer, who walked with them all—with a heart full of music.”—Peter Sis
“Caroline Stoessinger’s celebration of music and life and of the meaning and legacy of Alice Herz-Sommer’s remarkable, love-filled journey across the bitter, hate-filled years of twentieth-century madness is lyrical, compelling, and profoundly moving. This is an extraordinary, enchanting, entirely inspiring book—most timely and needed now.”—Blanche Wiesen Cook
This book is inspiring because the heroic life story of Alice Herz-Sommer is inspiring.
How she has achieved this is the basic topic of the entire text, a firm lesson as to one way - perhaps the best way - of living and leading a rich and fruitful life.
And Stoessinger has written this book so well, you really feel like you're having a good, personal visit with Alice.
A Century of Wisdom is a biography based on Alice’s memories as told to the author, as well as filmed interviews from 2004-2011. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Martina A. Nicolls
I LOVED EVERY PAGE OF THIS BOOK. NOTHING ELSE TO SAY. EVERY PAGE IS A DELIGHT.Published 1 month ago by Janet Leifer
Truly an inspirational book. Alice's words and sayings guide me now in how I choose to make my decisions.Published 2 months ago by Fan, Ning
In the book Alice's Piano, biographers Melissa Muller and Reinhard Piechocki narrate Alice's prodigious talent and her feelings. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Alter Wiener
All was well with this order. I may have sent in a fair review on this in error, and this review is to rectify thatPublished 3 months ago by allan gerson