Thursday, December 09, 2010

RIP Heda Kovaly

One of the great survivors died this week: Heda Margolius Kovaly, at 91. Clive James said: “Given 30 seconds to recommend a single book that might start a serious student on the hard road to understanding the political tragedies of the 20th century, I would choose this one.” He's probably right; for wartime memoirs alone, I think she has to take second place to Primo Levi. But Heda had to survive not only the war and the camps but also the cruel betrayal and murder of her first husband ("Margolius") by the contemptible weasels who dominated Communist Czechoslovakia.

Kovaly has a curious distinction here at Underbelly. My review of her memoir seems to have generated more hits than anything else I wrote here. Apparently I seem to be listed at somebody's source-site for quick off-the-rack book reviews. To a thousand overstrained English teachers, my sincerest apologies

1 comment:

Patrick Mehr said...

Under A Cruel Star is available as an eBook from