Saturday, April 26, 2014
W is for...Elie Wiesel and Jeanette Winterson
Saturday...how I have missed you. I intend to spend today relaxing and reading. Yay! But for you, fellow A-Zers, I'm bringing you two W authors: Elie Wiesel and Jeanette Winterson.
Elie Wiesel (1928-)
I first fell in love with Elie Wiesel as a Sophomore in high school. Night was required reading at that time and this book has stuck with me something fierce. I remember being so shocked by the opening scenes (I won't spoil it) and appalled by the atrocities discussed throughout the book. Since that time, I have been incredibly drawn to WWII and the Holocaust. So much so that I focused my graduate degree in Holocaust Literature. I credit Elie Wiesel for the love I have for this genre/point in history. Wiesel, a Romanian-born Jewish-American is a professor and political activist, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 due to his powerful message of peace and love despite having suffered the atrocities of the Holocaust. After his hometown of Sighet in Romania was lost to Hungary in 1944, the authorities allowed the German army to deport the entire Jewish community to Auschwitz; this included the Wiesel family. Separated from his entire family aside from his father, Wiesel witnessed many horrifying things, including a Death March. His father was killed just prior to liberation by the allies and only two of his three sisters survived. Wiesel refused to write about or discuss any aspect of the war for ten years after the war because he felt that anything he said would not do justice to his experiences. The first book he wrote detailing his time as a prisoner was Night. Though not a bestseller by any means, the book did attract the interest of reviewers and led to television interviews. Since then, it has gone on to achieve enormous success. If you have not read anything by Elie Wiesel, I would recommend changing this; you won't be disappointed.
Jeanette Winterson (1959-)
British novelist Jeanette Winterson is well-known for her exploration of physicality and imagination, gender polarities, and sexual identities. Several of her works have been adapted into screenplays and television shows, winning many awards including the BAFTA for Best Drama for Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit in 1990. Winterson is a writer of fiction, children's literature, science fiction, and journalism and is a professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester. She has also been made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to literature. Her novels are complex and insightful, often blurring the lines between genders and stereotypes. She's a gem in the literary field.
*Recommendation: The Passion
Who are some of your favorite W authors?