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The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance (2010)

by Edmund de Waal

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,8471293,374 (3.99)332
Traces the parallel stories of nineteenth-century art patron Charles Ephrussi and his unique collection of 360 miniature netsuke Japanese ivory carvings, documenting Ephrussi's relationship with Marcel Proust and the impact of the Holocaust on his cosmopolitan family.
  1. 00
    The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Roth's novel is set in Vienna during the time the author's ancestors lived there.
  2. 00
    The House by the Lake by Thomas Harding (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Both authors are English grandchildren of European Jews who lost homes and possessions during the Holocaust.
  3. 00
    In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Charles Ephrussi, one of the subjects of this biography, was a model for Charles Swann.
  4. 00
    The Little Book by Selden Edwards (AmourFou)
    AmourFou: A very different story than The Hare with Amber Eyes but I found myself thinking of this book for its apt reinforcement of fin de siècle Vienna.
  5. 00
    Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald (shaunie)
  6. 00
    The Mirador: Dreamed Memories of Irene Nemirovsky by her Daughter by Elisabeth Gille (Cimbrone)
    Cimbrone: Also a book about a privileged Jewish family before, during and after WW II. Sumptuous and tragic.
  7. 00
    The Eitingons: a twentieth-century story by Mary-Kay Wilmers (marieke54)
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» See also 332 mentions

English (117)  Dutch (4)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Started slow, but then I really started to care about this family. I loved the mix of small aesthetic details, family life, and the real historical events (and their effects). With the focus balanced it stops short of being overwhelming (as 20th century Austrian history often is) and is intensely personal. I liked the self-reflective writing, his musing on the purpose of writing this book and the ethics of intruding into people's (even your own family's) lives. He approached it with care and it shows. Also evident is his love of tactile art. Written by someone else this book could feel a little aimless, but I found it engrossing (after the first chapter or so). ( )
  RFellows | Apr 29, 2020 |
Part family history, part European history and all centred around netsuke, small Japanese figures. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Fascinating history of the author's family told through the acquisition & display of 264 netsuke carvings. ( )
  KtLinnet | Feb 10, 2020 |
I always enjoy books that entwine objects with family history with world history. Understanding the past, as well as world events through the experience of individuals always adds a piece to the puzzle of the human experience. ( )
  Zaiga | Sep 23, 2019 |
Edmund de Waal follows the history of a collection of netsuke bought by his great-grandfather's cousin as a way of telling the story of his family in Paris, Vienna, Tokyo and England.

My heart sank a little reading the aestheticism on display in the prologue, because I just don't have those reactions to objects and found the descriptions of the feelings the objects inspired in the author baffling. Once the book got underway, though, I found it unexpectedly interesting describing the different milieux. Although I had expected before I started that the book was going to be focussed on the travails of the family under the Nazis, there wasn't all that much in the book, which was just as well because I found even the 40 pages or so that there was difficult reading. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jun 9, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Edmund de Waal kreeg van een oudoom 264 gordelknopen. Ze leidden tot het schrijven van de geschiedenis van zijn joodse familie, met mooie verhalen,
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edmund de Waalprimary authorall editionscalculated
Boraso, MarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cohen, MarceloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eklöf, MargaretaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hilzensauer, BrigitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnová, LucieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jordana, Carles MiróTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lempens, WillekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levis, Marcelo Cohen deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindeberg, EvaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maloney, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marzi, DavideNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middleworth, B.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miró, CarlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, StephenDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prosperi, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rugstad, ChristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sasada, MasakoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, GinaPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vainikainen, VirpiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zischler, HannsNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
'Even when one is no longer attached to things, it's still something to have been attached to them; because it was always for reasons which other people didn't grasp...Well, now that I'm a little too weary to live with other people, these old feelings, so personal and individual, that I had in the past, seem to me - it's a mania for all collectors - very precious. I open my heart to myself like a sort of vitrine, and examine one by one all those love affairs of which the world can know nothing. And of this collection to which I'm now much more attached than to my others, I say to myself, rather as Mazarin said of his books, but in fact without the least distress, that it will be very tiresome to have to leave it at all.'
Charles Swann.

Marcel Proust, Cities of the Plain.
Dedication
For Ben, Matthew and Anna
and for my father.
First words
In 1991 I was given a two-year scholarship by a Japanese foundation.
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Disambiguation notice
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
"De haas met de amberkleurige ogen" was de eerste vertaling in het Nederlands. Al in 2017 publiceerde De Bezig Bij een nieuwe, correctere vertaling onder de titel "De haas met ogen van barnsteen". Ook vertaling van de tekst werd op tal van punten aangepast. Zie: https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achte...
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Haiku summary
Mansions, power, art / Exile, stolen dignity / Netsuke bear witness (LynnB)

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