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Anya: A Novel Paperback – February 17, 2004
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But her wonderful world of dances, travel, medical school, and her beloved family ended one day late in the summer of 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland. The bombs that leveled her Warsaw home that day marked the beginning of her soul-stirring odyssey of endurance and escape, through years of horror and Holocaust. Strong when others grew weak, selfless in pursuit of freedom, Anya, once the beautiful, pampered daughter of privilege, turned herself into a survivor whom nothing and no one could destroy.
"A triumph of realism in art." -- The New York Times Book Review
"ANYA is a myth, an epic, the creation of darkness and of laughter stopped forever . . . . A vision, set down by a fearless, patient poet . . . A writer of remarkable power." -- The Washington Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Anya is a Russian jew who lives in Poland during World War 2. She is a newly wed with a dream about becoming a doctor, when Germany suddenly invades Poland. This book does a 180 and the gentle trivialities and worries of everday life are replaced by a new, cold harsh reality.
You can almost believe that Anya is a real person. She is fallable and human, vulnerable and lovable. You can't help but admire her bravery throughout the story, and this story does not candy coat any part of the horrors these people had to face. Secondhand, and just as well fleshed out are the members of Anya's family, they live and breathe and make you care about them and you feel like you are looking back and remembering with Anya throughout the entire story. This book excellently conveys the warmth of Anya's mother, and her father's quiet, intellectual attitude. They remind me a lot of my Russian teachers.
As a final note, I think this book is not only entertaining but it is a lesson about life and bravery and right and wrong. I found myself thinking about how lucky I was after I finished the story to live somewhere safe and free. This is definetly worth checking out, and I'm ecstatic that it will apparently be back in print again soon. Check here...
But Anya Brodman, who died in 1996, relived her nightmare in hours and hours of interviews with Susan Fromberg Schaeffer. Although presented as a "novel," the story is largely Anya's--every gory detail, conversation and dream.
Among the many horrors Anya witnessed was the murder of an 11-month-old child, Lutig Klatchko, whose death is depicted in the epilogue. (According to Schaeffer, Anya signed a non-disclosure agreement with her in exchange for a share of the royalties.)
The book reads brilliantly and is hard to put down. "This is Anya's story," says a close friend who heard her story dozens of times 20 years before the novel's appearance. Every detail seems real, because most of it really happened.
Anya's idyllic life in the Vilna school-turned-apartment building, in which Lutig's mother was her neighbor, her vacations in Zakopanie, marriage to Stajoe, life in Warsaw and return to Vilna, her imprisonment in the ghetto, the birth of her child, her incarceration, survival and eventual escape from Kaiserwald, near Riga.
Anya was lucky. She saved herself and her daughter Ninka. Soon after that, her friends were shipped to a far worse prison, a death camp called Stuthoff, near Danzig. Most perished.
Of Anya's friends, the relative handful who survived had no other family left. They lost parents, grandparents, spouses, children, cousins, everyone. Following the death of Lutig's mother last January, only one remains.
--Alyssa A. Lappen
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best books I've ever read. Well written and very moving, I couldn't put it down.Published 6 months ago by Margaret Hale
I gave this book 5/5 stars because of it's content. The world is currently a very uncertain place with terrorism & unspeakable acts being so prevalent as to leave citizens of the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by AmazonAngel14
This is absolutely one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. It flows like poetry. I am rereading the book for the third time and love it as much as the first time. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Tara
Love historical fiction; just received this book. Have read Schaeffer's haunting "Madness of a Seduced Woman" - liked her writing style. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Janet
Such a powerful book. As usual with any book about the Holocaust, I can only read a few chapters at a time and it takes a while to get through. So worth it, though. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Laura E.
The novel is definitely not fictional but based on historical facts which were told of Anna Segal. I could identify all main persons and locations: Anya as Anna Segal, Ninka as... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Friedrich Meinl
Loved this when I first read it in the 80's. Very detailed, Schaeffer's writing allows your imagination to picture events and people as clearly as watching it in a movie setting.Published 20 months ago by JuJuJules
The book is as described, in good shape. It was within the delivery time stated, but clear at the end, which is unusual.Published 21 months ago by Ruby