BookBrowse Reviews A Bookshop in Berlin by Francoise Frenkel

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A Bookshop in Berlin

The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis

by Francoise Frenkel

A Bookshop in Berlin by Francoise Frenkel X
A Bookshop in Berlin by Francoise Frenkel
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  • First Published:
    Dec 2019, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2020, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jamie Chornoby
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In this recently rediscovered memoir, a Polish Jewish woman named Francoise Frenkel recounts her salvation during the ascension of the Nazi regime in Germany.

In A Bookshop in Berlin, Francoise Frenkel narrates her struggle to survive World War II as a refugee. Born in Poland in 1889 but living in Berlin at the outbreak of the war, Frenkel eventually made her way to safety in Switzerland, and from there wrote her memoir, originally titled No Place to Lay One's Head. It was published in 1945, but few copies were produced and it was largely lost to history before being rediscovered during an attic decluttering in southern France in 2010. The book was brought to an Emmaus Companions charity sale, where—by happenstance—Nobel Prize-winning novelist Patrick Modiano acquired it. This book is Frenkel's story in her own words, renamed, translated and republished.

The book opens with Frenkel's reflections on why she became a bookseller, rooted in a long-held appreciation for books that will be familiar to many readers. When studying in ...

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