Sunday, October 20, 2013
The non-fiction finalists for the National Book Award include:
Wendy Lower, Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, discussed in the NYT Arts Blog "Ordinary Women"
presents the harrowing evidence of crimes committed by German women during the Holocaust and “Ms. Lower’s revisionist insight is to track more mundane lives, and to argue for a vastly wider complicity.”
Jill Lepore, Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (Ben's sister), reviewed in the The New York Times.
That, in the end, is the message of the book: Lepore shows how the lives of the siblings were irrevocably shaped by gender. The brother, a man able to rise from poverty and to become a successful politician, is universally acknowledged to have been a genius. Was his sister one too? We cannot know, because her life was as much determined by her gender identity as was his: a woman who married young and badly, she spent most of her life mired in poverty