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The Hare with Amber Eyes
by Edmund De Waal

Published: 2011-09-05
Hardcover : 0 pages
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264 wood and ivory carvings none of them larger than a matchbox; Edmund de Waal was entranced by the collection when he first saw it in the Tokyo apartment of his great uncle. When he inherited them, he found that they unlocked a bigger story.

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010: At ...
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Introduction

264 wood and ivory carvings none of them larger than a matchbox; Edmund de Waal was entranced by the collection when he first saw it in the Tokyo apartment of his great uncle. When he inherited them, he found that they unlocked a bigger story.

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

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  "Very interesting"by Hindsnorth (see profile) 08/09/12

I really enjoyed this book. I've read a lot of books about WWII but this gave me an interesting perspective that I've never had before. I enjoyed learning about the Ephrussi family and following the... (read more)

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