The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story
2008 Orion Book AwardThe New York Times bestseller: a true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw—and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and... show more
2008 Orion Book AwardThe New York Times bestseller: a true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw—and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants—otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes. With her exuberant prose and exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Diane Ackerman engages us viscerally in the lives of the zoo animals, their keepers, and their hidden visitors. She shows us how Antonina refused to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her. 8 pages of illustrations
Publish date: September 17th 2008
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Pages no: 384
Edition language: English
Ugghhh. This book.So, the premise is amazing, right? This couple saved the lives of over three hundred people during the Holocaust! But you'd never know it, reading this book.This story that is so amazing is buried deep under a mountain of details. If you ever get your hands on a time machine and yo...
This book was hard to read, hearing about the destruction of the zoo and fear. What is interesting is how calm Antonina was during some of the situations. She and her family hid many and kept them safe. Set during WWII, Poland, it tells about the capture of Poland and the removal of the Jews and the...
I tried really hard to enjoy this book, but it was just too slow for me. The plot sounded really good, especially as I am a fan of war related stories - especially true stories. There was too much written before the war began, and the refugees arrived at the zoo.
Read from September 23 to October 01, 2013 There are certain books that make me feel so enriched and so enlightened from having read them. This is one of them. This is an inspiring story and Ackerman tells it perfectly. As a naturalist, she is able to keenly convey both the best and the worst of h...
AuthorDiane Ackerman received her B.A. in English from Penn State and an M.F.A. and Ph.D. in English from Cornell University in 1978. Her dissertation advisor was Carl Sagan. From 1980 to 1983 she taught English at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been married to novelist Paul Wes...