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Joe's War by Annette Kobak
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Joe's War by Annette Kobak
Paperback $16.95
Mar 08, 2005 | ISBN 9780375726125

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  • Dec 18, 2007 | ISBN 9780307426475

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"Arresting . . . A compelling personal narrative. . . . It adds another piece to the historic puzzle of the time." –Chicago Tribune

“Admirable. . . . Part memoir, part biography, part travelogue and (in its most stirring and valuable sections) part history of the great sorrows and tragedies endured by the Czechs and Poles all through the twentieth century. . . . Reading this moving, one-of-a-kind work, a reader wants to cheer, in at least three languages.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“Totally engrossing and written with such grace [that] it flows from page to page effortlessly.” –Tucson Citizen

“Kobak is a smart, even elegant writer, capable of pithy observations that jump off the page.” –The Washington Post

“[Kobak] points out that Australia’s Aborigines believe that ‘our stories are what we are here for.’ By finally learning her father’s story, she recognizes, her own becomes much richer.” –Newsweek

“Kobak’s thrilling race to discovery carries the reader along. Like her, we can’t wait to know what happened next, and why; like her we are filled with hopeless fury as politicians abolish lives and nations to ingratiate themselves with other politicians. We applaud breathlessly as Joe slips one trap after another, and stand fascinated as chance meetings lead to serendipitous revelations . . . Annette Kobak both reveals a Europe we never knew, and points up the importance of knowing it.” –The Independent

“This moving book finally tells the story that Kobak never heard in her childhood. It is the story of one Central European man’s war, and a success story about tact, love and trust slowly putting right the damage done by past trauma. But it is also, because of the nature of his experiences and the subtlety and intelligence with which she approaches them, the story of the twentieth century.” –Times Literary Supplement (London)

“A fascinating and enjoyable book. Eminently readable, it rambles engagingly and instructively through many spheres, private and public, leaving one with haunting reflections.” –Sunday Times (London)

“As well as being a meditation on the way that stories which once seemed frozen behind the iron curtain are now thawing back to life, Joe’s War is also a frank account of the impossibility of ever fully realising that your parents once knew a time that did not include you.” –The Guardian

“Joe Kobak’s tale of escape, engagingly told in his own words by his daughter, would stand alone very well as a war memoir. It is gripping and studded with humour. . . Its description of the chaos is reminiscent of the Dunkirk scenes in Ian McEwan’s Atonement. But this war memoir is only one strand of . . . this complex and unusual book.” –The Sunday Telegraph

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