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Nowhere in Africa by Stefanie Zweig
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Nowhere in Africa (1995)

by Stefanie Zweig

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English (4)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  Czech (1)  All (8)
Showing 4 of 4
This book was a bit of a disappointment. While the story is heartrending, Zweig's prose was "clunky" and really made it hard to engage with the characters. Too many of the high dramatic points dissolve in silent tears, until I'm wondering if the characters have any other means of expression. May be partly the fault of the translation. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
I found this a very interesting book, with a new view, to me, of the second world war.
I was glad that sometime in the past, I read "Things Fall Apart". I felt that it gave me more insight into the native Africans in this story.
I wish that the author had told us something about their lives after returning to Germany. I was so tired of Walter's whining that I really want to know if life was wonderful for the family after being repatriated, or if Walter was just a chronic pessimist. ( )
  elsyd | Apr 30, 2015 |
This book is not so much a novel as a fictionalised account of a time in the author's life where as a little girl, fleeing Nazi Germany and their comfortable middle-class life there, she and her family ended up as non-paid farmer tenants in Kenya.

The cover of the book is an almost-perfect visual synopsis to the story.

Read it and be enchanted. ( )
  Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
In the middle of nowhere, is how we should best understand the title of this voluminous work "Nowhere in Africa", or by its original German title Nirgendwo in Afrika. As the tags on LibraryThing indicate, there is considerable confusion about the nature of this book, and its sequel, Irgendwo in Deutschland, by Stefanie Zweig. Stylistically, it reads very much like a memoir, but according to the author and publisher it should be read as an autobiographical novel.

It is with awe and horror that we read memoirs and history of the holocaust. I feel, I have to keep reading, to keep the memory of those people who underwent that horrendous fate.

Not that many books have appeared about individuals or families who escaped Nazi Germany, and found a safe haven in other countries. This book is therefore very valuable. In the first part, it described the process, a combination of luck and foresight, and the difficulties to be overcome to obtain visa and a means of living in Kenya. Another interesting feature is the description of the hesitation and disbelief of the family members in Poland that the developments in Nazi Germany meant serious deauth peril to Jewish communities in Poland and other parts of Europe, and the difficulty of realizing which luggage would be essential and which superfluous, as the family had to dissolve their household, pack up, abandon their lifestyle and move to, and settle in the middle of nowhere, deep in the Kenyan countryside, as farmers.

The book described the youth, and growing up of the main character, and life in Africa. The description of Africans is particularly warm and friendly, and the story is soaked in the deep, natural and spiritual believes of the Africans. ( )
  edwinbcn | Oct 3, 2011 |
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Zweig, StefanieAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Linthout, DikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Rongai, den 4. Februar 1938 Meine liebe Jettel!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0299199649, Paperback)

Nowhere in Africa is the extraordinary tale of a Jewish family who flees the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya. Abandoning their once-comfortable existence in Germany, Walter Redlich, his wife, Jettel, and their five-year-old daughter, Regina, each deal with the harsh realities of their new life in different ways. Regina immediately embraces the country—learning the local language and finding a friend in Owuor, the farm's cook. As the war rages on the other side of the world, the family's relationships with their strange environment become increasingly complicated, as Jettel grows more self-assured but Walter is haunted by the life in Germany they left behind.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:19 -0400)

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Nowhere in Africa is the extraordinary tale of a Jewish family that flees the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya. Abandoning their once-comfortable existence in Germany, Walter Redlich, his wife Jettel, and their five-year-old daughter, Regina, each deal with the harsh realities of their new life in different ways.… (more)

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