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The Book of Aron

Jim Shepard

6 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Second World War fiction

The Warsaw ghetto seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy, in an extraordinary novel commemorating the famous Doctor Korczak, saver of children

**SHORTLISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE AWARD**

'Powerful . . . shattering . . . a masterpiece' The Times
'Testament of love and sacrifice . . . a masterpiece' Joshua Ferris, Guardian
'Transcendent and timeless . . . masterpiece' Washington Post

Aron is a nine-year-old Polish Jew, and a troublemaker. His mother despairs of him. His father beats him. He tries to be good. But in 1939, as the walls go up around the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, as lice and typhus rage, families starve and fight, it is Aron who finds a way - however dangerous, however treacherous - to survive.

It isn't until he lands at the feet of Janusz Korczak - orphanage director and reluctant hero - that he learns of something greater than survival.

**With new exclusive endmatter, featuring a biography of Korczak and questions for book clubs**

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Praise for The Book of Aron

  • It's a remorseless and meticulously observed novel, based on a true story, drawn in a limited palette. - Sydney Morning Herald

  • The novel bears witness to human complexity with an uncompromising compassion. - Australian Jewish News

  • A remarkable novel destined to join the shelf of essential Holocaust literature. Although relentless in its portrayal of systematic evil, The Book of Aron is, nonetheless, a story of such startling candour about the complexity of heroism that it challenges each of us to greater courage . . . Let's set aside puffery about the best novel of the month or even the year; Shepard has created something transcendent and timeless in this slim masterpiece . . . Shepard dares to move his narrative down the asymptote of despair, and the moral heroism he describes on that path toward infinity, you will never forget - Washington Post

  • Any number of writers have published fiction about the Holocaust, but few have succeeded in producing a work as simple and yet so moving as The Book of Aron . . . Shepard chronicles with compassion and clarity what happens as the Nazi persecution grows ever worse - Sunday Times

  • It is extraordinary how Shepard, using the voice of a poorly educated boy, can conjure up such a powerful story. Despite the inevitability of the conclusion, it is utterly shattering. The Book of Aron is a masterpiece - The Times, Book of the Month

  • Jim Shepard, a writer of extraordinary historical vision, psychological acuity, and searing irony, presents a profoundly moving portrait of its young narrator Aron; explores, with awe, our instinct to adapt and survive; and through the evolving consciousness of his phenomenally commanding young narrator, exposes the catastrophic impact of war and genocide on children - Carnegie Award

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Jim Shepard

Jim Shepard is the author of four previous collections, including Like You'd Understand, Anyway, which won The Story Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award, and his short fiction has often been selected for Best American Short Stories and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories. The most recent of his seven novels, The Book of Aron, won the PEN/New England Award, the Sophie Brody Medal for achievement in Jewish literature, the Harold U. Ribalow Book Prize for Jewish literature, and the Clark Fiction Prize. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts with his wife, the writer Karen Shepard, his three children and three beagles, and he teaches at Williams College.

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