Primo Levi was one of the most astonishing voices to emerge from the twentieth century: a man who survived one of the ugliest times in history, yet who was able to describe his own Auschwitz experience with an unaffected tenderness. Levi was a master storyteller but he did not write fairytales. These stories are an elegy to the human figures who stood out against the tragic background of Auschwitz, ‘the ones in whom I had recognized the will and capacity to react, and hence a rudiment of virtue’.
Each centres on an individual who – whether it be through a juggling trick, a slice of apple or a letter – discovers one of the ‘bizarre, marginal moments of reprieve’.
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