The River of Angry Dogs: A Memoir

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9780745322339: The River of Angry Dogs: A Memoir
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'An extraordinary book, an extraordinary, frightening life. To be Polish without nation, Jewish without family, hunted down in a land at war - and to be a genius in the making - well, it's not the normal teenager's life. Mira Hamermesh sees past and present with a film-maker's flawless eye, in this shattering written memorial to those she loved and lost.' Fay Weldon

'A fascinating account, covering so many countries, conditions, perils and states of mind.' Alan Sillitoe

'This is the story of a teenager crossing Hitler's Europe with only her own courage and luck to sustain her. It is a book of stunning narrative power, as able to move the reader with the surprises of human goodness and happy reunions as with the terror of those dark times. It is unlike any other memoir of the period that I can recall.' Elaine Feinstein

'Simply wonderful. ... The narrative is utterly gripping. I could not put it down.' John Carey

Mira Hamermesh is an award-winning film maker, painter and writer. This moving memoir gives a vivid account of her remarkable life. As a young Jewish teenager she escaped the horrors of German-occupied Poland with only her natural creativity, a rebellious spirit and a talent for good fortune to rely on. Of the millions of words written about WWII, few come from women, and even fewer recount such adventure. Spared the experience of the ghetto and the concentration camp that claimed most of her family, Mira's story is a life-affirming account of a life lived to the full, and a meditation on survival and coincidence, that pays homage to other people's courage.

Recounting her escape into Soviet-occupied Poland, Mira shows how her status as a refugee has continued to influence her throughout her life. The journey led her across Europe and eventually to Palestine in 1941; her account of that region, before the establishment of Israel, provides a fascinating insight into the historical setting for today's conflict.

Having settled in London where she studied art and married, she eventually won a place at the celebrated Polish Film School in Lodz. At the height of the Cold War Mira Hamermesh commuted across the Iron Curtain – her experience of a divided Europe offers many insights into the political factors that affected people's everyday lives.

Mira's theme of political conflict, so often explored in her films, is brought to life here in an intimate account that will live long in the memory.

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Review:

An extraordinary book, an extraordinary, frightening life. To be Polish without nation, Jewish without family, hunted down in a land at war - and to be a genius in the making - well, it's not the normal teenager's life. Mira Hamermersh sees past and present with a film-maker's flawless eye, in this shattering written memorial to those she loved and lost. (Fay Weldon)

This is an inspiring memoir about an extraordinary life, and it reads like a good novel. (The Times)

Simply wonderful. ... The narrative is utterly gripping. I could not put it down. (John Carey)

An important, perhaps even a great, book. ... The author's ability to bob on a sea of vicissitude, confronting adversities that might have drowned or silenced another. Such a quality marks Mira Hamermesh's story, contributing to an extradordinary narrative drive which, while ever recollecting the past, is always animated by a spirit ready to believe in a bright new morning ahead. ... Her book is universal, individualistic and triumphant in its vindication of humanity. (Jewish Chronicle)

This is the story of a teenager crossing Hitler's Europe with only her own courage and luck to sustain her. It is a book of stunning narrative power, as able to move the reader with the surprises of human goodness and happy reunions as with the terror of those dark times. It is unlike any other memoir of the period that I can recall. (Elaine Feinstein)

A fascinating account, covering so many countries, conditions, perils and states of mind. (Alan Sillitoe)

From the Publisher:

'An extraordinary book, an extraordinary, frightening life. To be Polish without nation, Jewish without family, hunted down in a land at war - and to be a genius in the making - well, it's not the normal teenager's life. Mira Hamermesh sees past and present with a film-maker's flawless eye, in this shattering written memorial to those she loved and lost.' Fay Weldon

'This is the story of a teenager crossing Hitler's Europe with only her own courage and luck to sustain her. It is a book of stunning narrative power, as able to move the reader with the surprises of human goodness and happy reunions as with the terror of those dark times. It is unlike any other memoir of the period that I can recall.' Elaine Feinstein

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