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The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden…

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

by Edmund de Waal

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6101223,428 (3.98)320
  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 320 mentions

English (111)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (122)
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
This is a delicate work detailing rather amazing figurines in some of recent history's more nefarious climates. The settings include Paris of the Dreyfus Affair and Vienna of the early 20th Century, culminating in the terrible Anschluss of 1938.
De Waal, himself an artist, is peering backward into time. He explores his family's success, constantly aware of the menace which surrounds such. Pieces of tiny sculptures lie at the heart of this quest. The pieces are Japanese in origin. The author explores the means by which they came to Europe and his family's possession. Events are described with wry appreciation. Despite the growing tension there is detachment at play. There are few surprises in the narrative. An appreciation for family and ancestry is galvenized as the journey returns home. As does a cultured appreciation of the diminutive masterpieces.
( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
This book tells the story of a wealthy Jewish family. And it is also (of course) a history number.

Already from the first chapter, I was hooked. But it took me a few chapters before I couldn't let the book down of my hands. At first, it was a chapter and another episode and another period.

The book is a bit difficult to read but one of the most enriching books I read in my life. It tells about the history of a Jewish family with roots throughout Europe and the development of the family miniature collection. ( )
  JantTommason | Feb 2, 2019 |
An intriguingly detailed family history told as the author traces the source and the trajectory through history of a family collection of Japanese netsuke, and the lives of the family members who owned them. I loved this book's slow journey through the events and people that led to the author's inheritance, full of touching details and suspense.
  styraciflua | Nov 28, 2018 |
I really liked the second half of this book, but the first half was SO slow and it took me forever to really get into the story. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Not entirely my cup of tea, but a great book for book club discussion. The author's background as a potter (and not an author) makes it highly unusual, which is not a negative thing necessarily, but just made it a bit challenging to get into.

Really good historical info, though I'd suggest combining it with a more traditional narrative such as In the Garden of Beasts. ( )
  annhepburn | Mar 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (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,
What happened to the hare with amber eyes, and the carved medlar that almost felt as if it might squish when handled, after their return from Japan? De Waal bought them a secondhand vitrine from the V&A and set it up in his London house, its door unlocked so his own children could play with its contents. "Objects have always been . . . stolen, retrieved and lost. It is how you tell their stories that matters." He has told their story wonderfully. Oh, and this is a beautiful and unusual book, as a physical object. Somebody really cared.

» 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
Lempens, WillekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miró, CarlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prosperi, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rugstad, ChristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sasada, MasakoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'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'.
For Ben, Matthew and Anna
and for my father.
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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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Paris 1871-1899 -- Vienna 1899-1938 -- Vienna Kövecses, Tunbridge Wells, Vienna 1938-1947 -- Tokyo 1947-2001 -- Tokyo, Odessa, London 2001-2009.
Haiku summary
Mansions, power, art / Exile, stolen dignity / Netsuke bear witness (LynnB)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312569378, Paperback)

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010: At the heart of Edmund de Waal's strange and graceful family memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, is a one-of-a-kind inherited collection of ornamental Japanese carvings known as netsuke. The netsuke are tiny and tactile--they sit in the palm of your hand--and de Waal is drawn to them as "small, tough explosions of exactitude." He's also drawn to the story behind them, and for years he put aside his own work as a world-renowned potter and curator to uncover the rich and tragic family history of which the carvings are one of the few concrete legacies. De Waal's family was the Ephrussis, wealthy Jewish grain traders who branched out from Russia across the capitals of Europe before seeing their empire destroyed by the Nazis. Beginning with his art connoisseur ancestor Charles (a model for Proust's Swann), who acquired the netsuke during the European rage for Japonisme, de Waal traces the collection from Japan to Europe--where they were saved from the brutal bureaucracy of the Nazi Anschluss in the pockets of a family servant--and back to Japan and Europe again. Throughout, he writes with a tough, funny, and elegant attention to detail and personality that does full justice to the exactitude of the little carvings that first roused his curiosity. --Tom Nissley

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:06 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

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