Category: Book
Translated By: Manheim, Ralph
By (author): Oberski, Jona
Afterword By: Shepard, Jim
Subject:  FICTION / Classics
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Historical
  FICTION / Jewish
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: November 2014
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 112
Size: 7.76in x 5.09in x 0.37in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A rediscovered masterpiece: an unblinking view of the Holocaust through a child's eyes

Told from the perspective of a child slowly awakening to the atrocities surrounding him, Childhood is a searing story of the Holocaust that no reader will soon forget. As five-year-old Jona waits with his mother and father to emigrate from Nazi-occupied Amsterdam to Palestine, they are awakened at night, put on a train, and eventually interred in the camps at Bergen-Belsen. There, what at first seems to be a merely dreary existence soon reveals itself to be one of the worst horrors humanity has ever created. A triumph of heartrending clarity and dispassionate amazement, Childhood stands tall alongside such monuments of Holocaust literature as The Diary of Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel's Night, and Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Review Quote*"A book which will shock every reader with a heart." -Isaac Bashevis Singer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

"Simple... terse... shattering." -Harold Pinter, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

"A dark fairy tale … of the fears and anguish of a child, based on experiences that could not be grasped by reason, irrational yet truly real." -Heinrich Böll, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

"An astonishing book-memorable, piercing.  It reaches to the very soul." -Chaim Potok

"Deserves to be widely read." -The New York Times Book Review

"A haunting jewel of a memoir that takes the holocaust a step beyond the tragic." -Christian Science Monitor

"A haunting Holocaust autobiography."-Atlanta Jewish Times

"A child sees the barbarities of an event such as the Holocaust not in terms of race and politics, but in the way a Martian would see them, as amazing and stupefying instances of the cruelty of man.  Jona Oberski conveys this amazement in an unembroidered and memorable way." -Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's List

"This is a book that matters.  There is a purity in it which leaves you speechless, a humanity which gives you no rest." -Die Zeit

"This is not the book of the year, but the book of this damned century.  Childhood is going to reach everyone and go on reaching people for generations to come." -Allan Sillitoe, author of Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

"It will shock, move you to tears. . . . Admirably understated . . . haunting." -Daily Mail

"Singular and powerful . . . There is no mawkish sentimentality here. . . . Childhood punches well above its weight, and everyone should read it." -Historical Novel Society

"A rare achievement and a delight . . . It approaches perfection." -Asylum
Biographical NoteJona Oberski is a Dutch nuclear and particle physicist. He was born in 1938 and lives in Amsterdam.

Jim Shepard is the author of The Book of Aron, a novel narrated by a child in a Warsaw Ghetto orphanage, as well as several other novels and collections of short stories, including Like You'd Understand, Anyway, which won The Story Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He teaches at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Ralph Manheim (1907–1992) was a noted translator. The PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation is named in his honor.