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Fragments of Isabella


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About the Author

Isabella Leitner (1921-2009) was born and raised in Hungary. On her twenty-third birthday, she was deported to Auschwitz along with her mother, four sisters, and brother, an experience she wrote about in her acclaimed memoir Fragments of Isabella, which was published in 1978 and named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. A motion picture based on the book was produced by the Abbey Theater in Ireland. In 1945, the author immigrated to the United States and married Irving A. Leitner, who served in a US Air Force bomber squadron during World War II. The mother of two sons, Peter and Richard, whom she considered "her greatest victory over Hitler," Leitner also wrote Saving the Fragments: From Auschwitz to New York and The Big Lie: A True Story.


"Luminous and moving work . . . An invaluable addition to the literature of history's most terrible tragedy . . . A voice not of defeat, but of affirmation." -Gerald Green, author of Holocaust

"Soul. That is what this book stands for. Soul. Dostoevsky would have approved of it." -Henry Miller

"Profoundly moving . . . Leitner writes with a searing sensitivity that can move one to tears." -Publishers Weekly

"Commands immediate nonstop reading. [Leitner] writes sparely, hauntingly, about very specific details-faces, voices, in a way that renders the unbearable real. . . . She breaks my heart open." -Phyllis Chesler, author of Women and Madness

"Shatteringly eloquent." -Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg

"One of the ever-glowing gems of the Holocaust experience." -Meyer Levin, author of Compulsion

"A cry of such agony as I have never heard-all the more telling because of its simplicity and lack of sentimentality. I want the whole world to read it." -Howard Fast, author of The Immigrant's Daughter

"Destined to be a classic in the literature of the holocaust . . . A stark tribute not only to the human spirit but to the naked power of words." -The Christian Century

"Pain and heroism beyond words." -The Boston Globe

"Such poignancy and depth, such a commitment to life and sense of responsibility to the future, that it deserves to be read and taken to heart." -HadassahMagazine

"Isabella Leitner has helped to teach a new generation that we must not forget the past. She has done this in a moving and truthful way." -Elizabeth Swados

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