Tuesday 8 April 2008

question answered

This month Orion magazine gave its 2008 book award to The Zookeeper's Wife: A War History by Diane Ackerman (left). The chairman of the judges said:

'A few years ago, ‘nature’ writers were asking themselves, How can a book be at the same time a work of art, an act of conscientious objection to the destruction of the world, and an affirmation of hope and human decency? The Zookeeper’s Wife answers this question.'

Antonina and Jan Zabinski were the directors of the Warsaw Zoo. During WW2 they took in partisans and Jews. This book, says the Washington Post, reminds us 'what we mean by the word "humane".' Two quotes from the book:

'Antonina and Jan had learned to live on seasonal time, not mere chronicity'

'Their routine was never quite routine, made up as it was of compatible realities, one attuned to animals, the other to humans.'

Also reviewed here. Blogged here. Hat-tip here.

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