The Hare with Amber Eyes


Book Description

A New York Times Bestseller An Economist Book of the Year Costa Book Award Winner for Biography Galaxy National Book Award Winner (New Writer of the Year Award) Edmund de Waal is a world-famous ceramicist. Having spent thirty years making beautiful pots—which are then sold, collected, and handed on—he has a particular sense of the secret lives of objects. When he inherited a collection of 264 tiny Japanese wood and ivory carvings, called netsuke, he wanted to know who had touched and held them, and how the collection had managed to survive. And so begins The Hare with Amber Eyes, this extraordinarily moving memoir and detective story as de Waal discovers both the origins of the netsuke and of his family, the Ephrussis, over five generations. A nineteenth-century banking dynasty in Paris and Vienna, the Ephrussis were as rich and respected as the Rothchilds. Yet by the end of the World War II, when the netsuke were hidden from the Nazis in Vienna, this collection of very small carvings was all that remained of their vast empire. "To be handed a story as durable and exquisitely crafted as this is a rare pleasure. . . . This book is impossible to put down. You have in your hands a masterpiece." —The Sunday Times (London)




The White Road


Book Description

An intimate narrative history of porcelain, structured around five journeys through landscapes where porcelain was dreamed about, fired, refined, collected, and coveted. Extraordinary new nonfiction, a gripping blend of history and memoir, by the author of the award-winning and bestselling international sensation, The Hare with the Amber Eyes. In The White Road, bestselling author and artist Edmund de Waal gives us an intimate narrative history of his lifelong obsession with porcelain, or "white gold." A potter who has been working with porcelain for more than forty years, de Waal describes how he set out on five journeys to places where porcelain was dreamed about, refined, collected and coveted-and that would help him understand the clay's mysterious allure. From his studio in London, he starts by travelling to three "white hills"-sites in China, Germany and England that are key to porcelain's creation. But his search eventually takes him around the globe and reveals more than a history of cups and figurines; rather, he is forced to confront some of the darkest moments of twentieth-century history. Part memoir, part history, part detective story, The White Road chronicles a global obsession with alchemy, art, wealth, craft, and purity. In a sweeping yet intimate style that recalls The Hare with the Amber Eyes, de Waal gives us a singular understanding of "the spectrum of porcelain" and the mapping of desire.




The Hare with Amber Eyes (Illustrated Edition)


Book Description

The definitive illustrated edition of the international bestseller Two hundred and sixty-four Japanese wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox: Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in his great-uncle Iggie's Tokyo apartment. When he later inherited the netsuke, they unlocked a far more dramatic story than he could ever have imagined. From a burgeoning empire in Odessa to fin de siècle Paris, from occupied Vienna to postwar Tokyo, de Waal traces the netsuke's journey through generations of his remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. With sumptuous photographs of the netsuke collection and full-color images from de Waal's family archive, the illustrated edition of The Hare with Amber Eyes transforms a deeply intimate saga into a work of visual art.




Letters to Camondo


Book Description

A tragic family history told in a collection of imaginary letters to a famed collector, Moise de Camondo Letters to Camondo is a collection of imaginary letters from Edmund de Waal to Moise de Camondo, the banker and art collector who created a spectacular house in Paris, now the Musée Nissim de Camondo, and filled it with the greatest private collection of French eighteenth-century art. The Camondos were a Jewish family from Constantinople, “the Rothschilds of the East,” who made their home in Paris in the 1870s and became philanthropists, art collectors, and fixtures of Belle Époque high society, as well as being targets of antisemitism—much like de Waal's relations, the Ephrussi family, to whom they were connected. Moise de Camondo created a spectacular house and filled it with art for his son, Nissim; after Nissim was killed in the First World War, the house was bequeathed to the French state. Eventually, the Camondos were murdered by the Nazis. After de Waal, one of the world’s greatest ceramic artists, was invited to make an exhibition in the Camondo house, he began to write letters to Moise de Camondo. These fifty letters are deeply personal reflections on assimilation, melancholy, family, art, the vicissitudes of history, and the value of memory.




Out of Egypt


Book Description

A chronicle of a "Jewish family from its bold arrival in Egypt at the turn of the century to its defeated exodus three generations later."




Japanese Netsuke


Book Description

Drawing on the Victoria and Albert Museum's fine collection, Japanese Netsuke examines these appealing, accessible, and often humorous works of art in the broadest possible context. In a text that is both comprehensive and entertaining, Julia Hutt traces the history of netsuke, showing how these highly collectible objects originated from belt hangings used by nomads along the Silk Road. The stunning color photographs reveal the full range of subjects portrayed--images of animals, birds, and sea creatures, portraits of dancers and demons, droll cameos of characters from everyday urban life, even a rare poetic evocation of landscape--and the high level of skill involved in their creation. The richness and diversity of the materials used, as well as the different sources of inspiration, are also discussed, providing an indispensable guide for collectors and all those interested in Japanese decorative arts.




Hidden Inheritance


Book Description

Heidi Neumark’s life changed when a few computer keystrokes exposed generations of family secrets, raising questions she could not answer: How did she never know of her grandfather’s murder? Or that her grandmother was a death-camp survivor? Why had the family history and faith been hidden? What did this mean for her work as a pastor, community organizer, and advocate with marginalized and oppressed communities? Seeking answers to these questions, Heidi traveled across the ocean and into the depths of her soul to encounter a family and spiritual heritage she never knew she had. For any who have had secrets, closeted identities, and silence shape their lives, Heidi’s journey is more than a spellbinding memoir. It’s also a courageous call to discover what can happen when all that has been hidden is finally brought to life.




The Book Thieves


Book Description

"A chilling reminder of Hitler’s twisted power." —BBC For readers of The Monuments Men and The Hare with Amber Eyes, the story of the Nazis' systematic pillaging of Europe's libraries, and the small team of heroic librarians now working to return the stolen books to their rightful owners. While the Nazi party was being condemned by much of the world for burning books, they were already hard at work perpetrating an even greater literary crime. Through extensive new research that included records saved by the Monuments Men themselves—Anders Rydell tells the untold story of Nazi book theft, as he himself joins the effort to return the stolen books. When the Nazi soldiers ransacked Europe’s libraries and bookshops, large and small, the books they stole were not burned. Instead, the Nazis began to compile a library of their own that they could use to wage an intellectual war on literature and history. In this secret war, the libraries of Jews, Communists, Liberal politicians, LGBT activists, Catholics, Freemasons, and many other opposition groups were appropriated for Nazi research, and used as an intellectual weapon against their owners. But when the war was over, most of the books were never returned. Instead many found their way into the public library system, where they remain to this day. Now, Rydell finds himself entrusted with one of these stolen volumes, setting out to return it to its rightful owner. It was passed to him by the small team of heroic librarians who have begun the monumental task of combing through Berlin’s public libraries to identify the looted books and reunite them with the families of their original owners. For those who lost relatives in the Holocaust, these books are often the only remaining possession of their relatives they have ever held. And as Rydell travels to return the volume he was given, he shows just how much a single book can mean to those who own it.




The White Road


Book Description




The House of Fragile Things


Book Description

A powerful history of Jewish art collectors in France, and how an embrace of art and beauty was met with hatred and destruction In the dramatic years between 1870 and the end of World War II, a number of prominent French Jews—pillars of an embattled community—invested their fortunes in France’s cultural artifacts, sacrificed their sons to the country’s army, and were ultimately rewarded by seeing their collections plundered and their families deported to Nazi concentration camps. In this rich, evocative account, James McAuley explores the central role that art and material culture played in the assimilation and identity of French Jews in the fin-de-siècle. Weaving together narratives of various figures, some familiar from the works of Marcel Proust and the diaries of Jules and Edmond Goncourt—the Camondos, the Rothschilds, the Ephrussis, the Cahens d'Anvers—McAuley shows how Jewish art collectors contended with a powerful strain of anti-Semitism: they were often accused of “invading” France’s cultural patrimony. The collections these families left behind—many ultimately donated to the French state—were their response, tragic attempts to celebrate a nation that later betrayed them.