WINNER OF THE JQ WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE A Beautiful And Important Book The Independent In The Tradition Of Rediscovered Works Like Suite Fran Aise And The Nazi Officer S Wife, The Prize Winning Memoir Of A Fearless Jewish Bookseller On A Harrowing Fight For Survival Across Nazi Occupied Europe In , Fran Oise Frenkel A Jewish Woman From Poland Fulfills A Dream She Opens La Maison Du Livre, Berlin S First French Bookshop, Attracting Artists And Diplomats, Celebrities And Poets The Shop Becomes A Haven For Intellectual Exchange As Nazi Ideology Begins To Poison The Culturally Rich City In , The Scene Continues To Darken First Come The New Bureaucratic Hurdles, Followed By Frequent Police Visits And Book Confiscations Fran Oise S Dream Finally Shatters On Kristallnacht In November , As Hundreds Of Jewish Shops And Businesses Are Destroyed La Maison Du Livre Is Miraculously Spared, But Fear Of Persecution Eventually Forces Fran Oise On A Desperate, Lonely Flight To Paris When The City Is Bombed, She Seeks Refuge Across Southern France, Witnessing Countless Horrors Children Torn From Their Parents, Mothers Throwing Themselves Under Buses Secreted Away From One Safe House To The Next, Fran Oise Survives At The Heroic Hands Of Strangers Risking Their Lives To Protect Her Published Quietly In , Then Rediscovered Nearly Sixty Years Later In An Attic, A Bookshop In Berlin Is A Remarkable Story Of Survival And Resilience, Of Human Cruelty And Human Spirit In The Tradition Of Suite Fran Aise And The Nazi Officer S Wife, This Book Is The Tale Of A Fearless Woman Whose Lust For Life And Literature Refuses To Leave Her, Even In Her Darkest Hours BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week No Place to Lay One s Head by Francoise FrenkelThis is a review of a BBC Radio Broadcast.This wartime memoir was published in 1945 Rediscovered in a flea market in Nice in 2010, we get to travel with Francoise Frenkel on her quest to escape persecution and travel to safety.Polish born Francoise, of Jewish descent, was educated in France She loved books, gently caring for them In 1921, she opened a French bookstore in Berlin The bookstore was frequented by women, foreigners, as well as the German Elite For almost 2o years, she lived her dream People came to listen to French readings, plays and poetry Politics were not discussed in the bookstore Starting in 1938, windows were smashed and businesses were set afire during Kristallnacht Francoise was advised to go back to Paris and leave her treasured books and bookstore behind Paris, however, was unsafe Francoise experienced both the cruel harshness of war as well as the kindness of strangers.By publishing No Place to Lay One s Head , Pushkin Press has enabled readers to view Francoise s determination to find safe haven after leaving behind a thriving bookstore and the camaraderie of people from all walks of life. Francoise Frenkel s real life account of flight from Berlin on the night of broken glass , is abridged in five parts by Katrin Williams and translated by Stephanie Smee.The author had a thriving bookshop in Berlin, selling French editions, newspapers and magazines Society types and celebrities would drop by to browse, buy and socialise Then 1935 heralded a dark dawn.. FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON DECEMBER 10.Fran oise Frenkel always loved books, libraries, and especially bookstores.She opened a bookstore and was successful until 1935 when the police started showing up and confiscating books from her shelves and newspapers because they had been blacklisted.A BOOKSHOP IN BERLIN is a treasure for historical fiction fans as well as book lovers.I normally do not read memoirs, but A BOOKSHOP IN BERLIN is very well done and educational You were easily put into Francoise s situations, and her emotions were yours 5 5This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Fittingly, I finished reading this on Sunday, which was International Holocaust Remembrance Day Even after seven decades, we re still unearthing new Holocaust narratives, such as this one rediscovered in a flea market in 2010, it was republished in French in 2015 and first became available in English translation in 2017.Born Frymeta Idesa Frenkel in Poland, the author 1889 1975 was a Jew who opened the first French language bookstore in Berlin in 1921 After Kristallnacht and the seizure of her stock and furniture, she left for France and a succession of makeshift situations, mostly in Avignon and Nice She lived in a hotel, a chateau, and the spare room of a sewing machinist whose four cats generously shared their fleas All along, the Mariuses, a pair of hairdressers, were like guardian angels she could go back to between emergency placements.This memoir showcases the familiar continuum of uneasiness blooming into downright horror as people realized what was going on in Europe To start with one could downplay the inconveniences of having belongings confiscated and work permits denied, of squeezing onto packed trains and being turned back at closed borders Only gradually, as rumors spread of what was happening to deported Jews, did Frenkel understand how much danger she was in.The second half of the book is exciting than the first, especially after Frenkel is arrested at the Swiss border Even though you know she makes it out alive Her pen portraits of her fellow detainees show real empathy as well as writing talent Strangely, Frenkel never mentions her husband, who went into exile in France in 1933 and died in Auschwitz in 1942 I would also have liked to hear about her 17 years of normal bookselling life before everything kicked off Still, this is a valuable glimpse into the events of the time, and a comparable read to W adys aw Szpilman s The Pianist.Originally published on my blog, Bookish Beck. It is a story like Nemirovski A text found by chance This is a story tipically mittel Europa A Russian Jewish young woman, fascinated by french litt rature who became bookseller in Berlin Many french author visited her Colette, Gide An Wolfie uncle arrived in 1930 Exile, Paris, Nice, Helvetia The account of her life was published discretly in 1945 by an small editor and after nothing.One book in bad states was found at a secondhand bookseller by chance Modiano was enthused over it It is a history as he likesWe know nothing of her life after WWII We have no photo of her She died in Nice in 1975, it is the alone certitude, no family Modiano asked to Gallimard to publish it It is written well, very interesting, but it does not have the genius of N mirovski which was a real writer Wolfie uncle was the Cosima Wagner expression for named Hitler From BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week Francoise Frenkel s real life account of flight from Berlin on the night of broken glass , is abridged in five parts by Katrin Williams and translated by Stephanie Smee.The author had a thriving bookshop in Berlin, selling French editions, newspapers and magazines Society types and celebrities would drop by to browse, buy and socialise Then 1935 heralded a dark dawn..Read by Samantha SpiroProducer Duncan Minshull.http www.bbc.co.uk programmes b09pkyg7 I have seen a lot of comparisons between Fran oise Frenkel s memoir and Suite Fran aise by Ir ne N mirovsky They both depict the struggles of living in Nazi occupied France for a Jewish woman and both were works that were found by chance and published I am yet to read Suite Fran aise, although it sits on my shelf quietly waiting, so I am unable to speak to any similarities No Place to Lay One s Head Rien o poser sa t te was originally published in 1945 with a limited run by the now defunct publishing house Verlag Jehebe Thirty years later it was rediscovered in an attic in the south of France and republished in 2015 Thanks to the efforts of Australian translator Stephanie Smee, an English translation of this book was released this year.This memoir gives an account of part of her life, from opening Berlin s first specialist French bookstore in 1921 to her experience with the rise of the Nazi party Fran oise Frenkel, like many other Jewish people, suffered greatly, but what fascinated me about No Place to Lay One s Head is what she left out of the book There is no mention of her husband in Rien o poser sa t te at all The only reason I know about his existence is because of the timeline in the back of the book.Grief is a powerful emotion and people find their own ways to deal with the pain Looking at this timeline I know that Frenkel and her husband Simon Raichenstein opened Maison du Livre fran ais which means House of the French Books together He was deported due to the fact he was a Belarusian and lived in France from 1933, until he was arrested in 1942 and sent to Auschwitz, where he was murdered Fran oise Frenkel ran the bookstore alone until she escaped Germany in 1939 I do not know if the two spent reunited in France, but I suspect that they may have My suspicions are based on this idea of grief Frenkel started writing No Place to Lay One s Head in 1943 after she was able to so escape to Switzerland, and I get the feeling that the anger and sadness that comes through in the book might have been related to the one person she cannot bare to talk about.I picked up this book in the hopes to explore the life of a specialist book seller in a rapidly changing political climate but I got something different I would have loved chapters on her time learning the trade in a second hand bookstore in the Rue Gay Lussac Or even exploring the idea of opening a specialist French bookshop in Germany and the impact it had Maybe even something that compared the idea to Sylvia Beach opening Shakespeare and Company a specialty book store dedicated to English language books in France two years earlier I love books about books and thought these would be some interesting topics to explore However I got something completely different something so devastating and yet full of beauty.I am partial to a book that is able to deliver cruelty and shock in such an elegant way and I think No Place to Lay One s Head was able to do just that It is a weird feeling to go into a book hoping for one thing but finding something unexpected This memoir is heartbreaking and to try and understand everything she was not saying, just made this book even affecting In the back of the book there is one picture of a dedication she wrote to a priest I would be so grateful for your prayers I seek inner peace I am grieving for so many and know not where my family have been laid to rest I think that sums up the feeling Fran oise Frenkel must have had when writing No Place to Lay One s Head.This review originally appeared on my blog Some people have dreams of opening and running a bookshop For Fran oise Frenkel this was her dream She loved books when she was growing up In No Place to Lay One s Head Pushkin Press is Fran oise s memoir A Jewish woman born in Poland opened her bookshop La Masion du Livre which was a French bookshop in Berlin in 1921 A dream come true Her memoir was published in 1945 in Geneva to a small press but then was discovered in a flea market Nice in 2010.Fran oise was obsessed with books when she was growing up in Poland then after her studies she started as a bookseller before opening her own bookshop The came Adolf Hitler and the birth of National Socialism Soon Jews in Germany became a target and shops owned and run by Jews became a target Then came Kristallnacht shards of broken glass in the streets when shops and property were targeted In July 1939 in fear for her life she fled Berlin leaving behind her beloved French bookshop and headed for Paris Then as the war engulfed France she had to leave Paris and then it was a case of moving from one safe house to another to escape the round up of those Jews in Vichy France who fled to this part of France to seek safety For Fran oise she missed this by just moments Now she needed to find somewhere to hide and then escape before she was arrested and then sent to a concentration camp There was of course those in Vichy France who would easily tell the authorities of her whereabouts but at the same time there was those who bravely hid those Jewish men, women and children knowing too well if caught they would be tortured and then killed It was June 1943 that with help Fran oise managed to cross the border and arrived in Switzerland She was safe It was here she sought solace in writing No Place to Lay One s Head and was published in September 1945 Only selling a small number of copies Fran oise Frenkel s memoir was then discovered in a flea market in France in 2010 and translated into English Though there is no mention of Fran oise s husband who was captured by the Nazis and was murdered at Auschwitz during 1942 This is a truly heartbreaking memoir written just after she escaped France to neutral Switzerland It is also an astonishing read and one I could not put down once I had started and after I had finished I wanted to know about Fran oise Frenkel This is a book that cries out to be read and No Place to Lay One s Head is highly recommended In the years that followed the war I can only hope that Fran oise found the peace she craved Fran oise Frenkel died in Nice, France in January 1975. 10 FEB 2018 a recommendation through Bettie This will be my new listen to book Many Thanks Episode 1 Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano explains in the preface to A Bookshop in Berlin that the memoir was written shortly after the author, Fran oise Frenkel, escaped to Switzerland and survived the end of World War II The memoir was originally published as Rien o poser ma t te The French translates to nowhere to rest my head, a fitting title considering that the book catalogs Frenkel s efforts to stay ahead of the Holocaust With the help of brave French citizens who hid her and helped her eventually escape to Switzerland, Frenkel travels over the course of 1939 to 1943 from Berlin to Paris, to Nice, to Grenoble and Annecy, near the Swiss border Unlike so many millions, Frenkel survived Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.
- 288 pages
- Rien où poser sa tête
- Françoise Frenkel
- 05 June 2019 Françoise Frenkel