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A Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the World's Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 20, 2012
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“An instruction manual for a life well lived.”—The Wall Street Journal
“As if her 108 years of experience alone were not enough to coax you, there is the overarching fact that draws people to Herz-Sommer’s story: She survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp and is believed to be the oldest living Holocaust survivor.”—The Washington Post
“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
“A Century of Wisdom is universal and will enrich readers for generations to come.”—Itzhak Perlman
“A treasure trove of insight and reflection. Herz-Sommer’s life is a tribute to the purity of artistic endeavor under the most devastating circumstances, and her refusal to be bitterly defined or essentially reshaped by tragedy is a testament to moral and spiritual courage.”—Booklist
“What 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.’”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Caroline Stoessinger, a pianist, has appeared on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and for twenty-five years has performed with the Tokyo String Quartet and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra. Stoessinger produced the televised dedication of the Schindler violin at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the first New York production of Brundibár. She has played in concert halls from Tokyo and Prague to Spillville, Iowa, and for many years served as the artistic director at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. She is artistic director of chamber music at the Tilles Center, artist-in-residence at John Jay College, director of the Newberry Chamber Players at the Newberry Opera House, and founder and president of the Mozart Academy. She lives in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is written as a life story told in part from her point of view but mostly from a third-person-viewer point of view (i.e the writer's). It tells how she grew up among the great literary minds of the early 20th century, and how she went through both world wars! She lived for 110 years and seen so much and experienced life so much that it is nothing less than amazing to read all about it. And this book covers every soulful bit of her experiences. I think, the writer did a great job assembling all those biographical stories to be told as a novel book, and not just as a simple biography. I enjoyed this book very much and I respect Alice very highly. This book is for those who want to broaden their understanding of life, and how it is possible to look at life perspectively and be happy. She was a pianist, and as a pianist myself, I consider this book to be as important for musicians as reading the biography of their favorite composers.
Highly Recommended!!! Will give you some great inspiration and appreciation for life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very inspiring and one that can change one outlook in life