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Irena's Gift

An epic World War II memoir of sisters, secrets and survival

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'Karen Kirsten’s debut is a harrowing family drama that spans the globe — from Jewish ghettos patrolled by Nazis to Melbourne suburbs of poodles, kookaburras, and refugees.

Kirsten goes on a quest to piece together her family’s secrets and finds much more than a tale of survival from history’s nightmare. She tells a story of disillusionment and faith. She reminds us that sometimes heroes can be repulsive, and sometimes lies keep families together.

Irena's Gift is beautifully written, deeply researched and deeply felt.'

»

Kevin Birmingham, NYT Bestselling author of 'The Sinner and the Saint' and 'The Most Dangerous Book:
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Detaljer

Forlag
Mardle Books
Innbinding
Paperback
Språk
Engelsk
ISBN
9781837700448
Utgivelsesår
2023
Format
20 x 19 cm

Anmeldelser

«

'Karen Kirsten’s debut is a harrowing family drama that spans the globe — from Jewish ghettos patrolled by Nazis to Melbourne suburbs of poodles, kookaburras, and refugees.

Kirsten goes on a quest to piece together her family’s secrets and finds much more than a tale of survival from history’s nightmare. She tells a story of disillusionment and faith. She reminds us that sometimes heroes can be repulsive, and sometimes lies keep families together.

Irena's Gift is beautifully written, deeply researched and deeply felt.'

»

Kevin Birmingham, NYT Bestselling author of 'The Sinner and the Saint' and 'The Most Dangerous Book:

«

'Irena's Gift interrogates the messy complexity of family, both its tenderness and nurture but also its corrosive anger and rejection. It's a disturbing investigation into the power of secrets to harm and to haunt.' 

»

Geraldine Brooks, NYT best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner

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‘Since I first learned about my Opa escaping the Nazis in occupied Holland, I have been taken with the heroic stories of everyday people during WWII. With author and refugee advocate Karen Kirsten, I find a kindred spirit. In Irena’s Gift, Kirsten brings to life the true and remarkable story of her family, including her mother and her grandmother, who like my Opa, sabotaged munitions at an armaments factory. This is a story of extraordinary women, survival and sacrifice. A must read.’

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Tara Moss, human rights and disability advocate, and author of The War Widow and The Ghosts of Paris

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'A family story as unique as a fingerprint. Enchanting.'

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Thomas Keneally, author of Booker Prize-winning 'Schindler’s List'

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'As Karen Kirsten sets out to solve the mystery of her mother’s past she takes us on a very personal journey of discovery. Skilfully, she unearths a thrilling story of war and survival against all odds. A keen researcher and sleuth, Karen uncovers a truth both astonishing and heartbreaking. 

Irena’s Gift is a beautiful, insightful, heartfelt and nuanced book. Masterfully crafted, it is both history and a memoir, but also so much more. Essential reading for anyone interested in WWII, trauma or family histories, this is one of the best second generation holocaust books ever published. I loved it and couldn’t put it down.' 

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Ariana Neumann, author of When Time Stopped. Winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, US National

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'With extremism and fascism again threatening democracies, 'Irena's Gift' is a must-read for our times. Stunningly researched, it explores themes of identity, secrets, grief and forgiveness. The author addresses the importance of naming our history and wrestles with the complexity of human nature - why a Nazi officer saved her mother.'

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Michelle Bowdler, author of TIME's 100 Must-Read Books of 2020: 'Is Rape A Crime?'

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'Deeply moving and beautifully written, Irena's Gift is a powerful unravelling of mysteries and memory.
The journey of reconstruction and reconnection brilliantly evokes a lost era full of pain and love, as well as laying out the intricacies of intergenerational trauma.
In addition to its value as Holocaust history, Irena's Gift deserves to become a classic of the memoir genre.'

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Lucy Adlington, author of 'The Dressmakers of Auschwitz - the True Story of the Women who Sewed to S

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'An epic story and an epic search for the truth that is beautifully written and meticulously weaved together, in a page-turning read I couldn’t put down.

Karen Kirsten has captured her remarkable odyssey to place the final pieces of her family jigsaw in place, with moving and at times gut-wrenching detail.  

Alicja’s poignant words, "you think someone will want to know all of this?" will ring in your ears with every twist and turn that Kirsten’s journey takes to find the truth of who her family really are and how they were saved.

Compulsive enough to read in a single-sitting, this is ultimately a story of love, healing, hope and humanity that will tug at your heartstrings. Irena’s Gift offers a prescient reminder, as Alicja says, that "we should never forget what happened".'

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Sue Smethurst, author of The Freedom Circus

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'An extraordinary story of how secrets and lies can tear a family apart.'

 

 

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Maya Lee, author of The Nazis Knew My Name

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