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Anya by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer

Anya (original 1974; edition 2004)

by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer

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226573,242 (4.42)8
Authors:Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2004), Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:fiction, Your library
Tags:historical fiction, Holocaust, religion, Judaism, war, women

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Anya by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer (1974)



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This was a wonderful, epic type novel, taking place during the holocaust. The main protagonist is a young educated Jewish woman, and it's about all that she goes through before, during, and after the Nazi regime. It was really gripping and suspenseful and I cared about her and some of the other characters also. One of my favorite novels.

On my latest reread:

It’s always hardest for me to review the books I love the most. I first read this book in about 1976, and had read it another time or two or three before I recently buddy read it with my Goodreads’ friend, Diane, her first time reading it.

It’s still one of my favorite novels. The narrator and title character is so compelling, as are many of the characters They’re so relatable. The main character does a remarkable job of storytelling. I was completed riveted, and so much happens on every page. The writing is wonderful, making me feel as though I was right there.

Reading it in my 60s vs. in my 20s gave me a whole new perspective about the events and people. Interestingly, I forgot a lot, even though it has always made a huge impression on me. I’d intended to skim along, but quickly changed and read the book, partly because I quickly realized I’d forgotten a lot but mostly because I wanted to once again immerse myself in the story; I couldn’t pull away from it.

It’s a real gem. I think it’s brilliant in so many ways. I’m very grateful to have reread it and to be able to discuss it with someone who’s new to it. I had discussed it with one or two friends when I first read it too, but that was a long time ago. It’s a great book for discussion.

Reading it now I understand why my friends and I in our twenties maybe were able to get a bit of understanding and patience about our parents, not that our parents went through even close to what Anya goes through. ( )
  Lisa2013 | Aug 2, 2015 |
“Anya” is a fictionalized novel set in Poland during World War II. As a Russian Jew living in Poland Anya comes from a well-to-do family. Recently married, Anya gives birth to a child, which she protects in every way she can. With the help of many individuals Anya and her daughter are the only members of her family who survive the war.

A bit of controversy surrounds this novel. It is alleged that the story was the result of a series of interviews given by Mrs. Brodman concerning her life story. Consequently, a lawsuit was filed against Ms. Schaeffer. The case was ultimately settled.

The level of detail reads somewhat like a Tolkien novel. A lot of the detail is overwhelming and detracts from the story itself. Otherwise I highly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in the holocaust. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Oct 6, 2010 |
I enjoyed every page of this very long book. The best part was that it started well before the war, and ended many years after. I read on another website that the author of this book, Schaeffer, actually spent days and days interviewing the real Anya but when it came time to sell the book she claimed it was fiction in order to keep all the profits for herself! What a terrible ending to such a wonderful sweeping story of a real woman's incredible life. ( )
  pricelessreads | Mar 5, 2010 |
I checked this book out of the library a long time ago, and was taken so completely into another world. I remember that if felt so real, hardly like a novel. What can you say about a book that stays with you forever? ( )
1 vote anniemktx | Oct 14, 2009 |
favorite book
  stacyann | Jul 12, 2009 |
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A man's dying is more the survivors' affair than his own.

Thomas Mann in The Magic Mountain
May you live in interesting times

Chinese Curse
For Neil
First words
My name is Anya Savikin, and I am going to take you into the apartment of my parents, the apartment where I was born, and where I lived until I was married, in Vilno, Poland.
Prologue: They are two lights.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393325210, Paperback)

Anya is a myth, an epic...[by] a writer of remarkable power.—Washington Post

Anya Savikin lived among well-to-do Russian Jews in Poland, in a world more like Tolstoy's than our own, until the first bombing of Warsaw and the chaos that ensued. Her story incarnates the strength and love of eastern European Jewry, before and after their decimation. Reading group guide included.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:18 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Before she goes to America, the Polish Jew Anya who has escaped several times during World War II, always searches for her little girl, given to Gentiles at the start of the war.

(summary from another edition)

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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