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A fascinating retelling of Oskar Schindler's extraordinary story and how it came to the world's attention through Thomas Keneally's Booker Prize-winning novel and the subsequent multiple Oscar-winning film, Schindler's List
Thomas Keneally has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize four times and won it with SCHINDLER'S ARK in 1982. His novels have been filmed - SCHINDLER'S LIST and THE CHANT OF JIMMIE BLACKSMITH - and dramatised - THE PLAYMAKER. He has also written several works of non-fiction.
This very readable narrative is Keneally's tale of how he came to hear of a man named Osckar Schindler, write a book about him and see it turned into a movie. It begins with Poldek, the man whose LA store Keneally steps into to replace a broken briefcase. One of those who attribute their survival of the Holocaust to Schindler, Poldek is larger than life, disarming, and generous with his compliments. It is easy to see how he convinced Keneally to take on Schindler's story and how his energy pressed the project on. Before the book is even agreed to, Poldek is adamant it will become a film. ¿You'll win an Oscar for Oskar,' he would later tell Steven Spielberg-who did, of course. This is neither an in-depth examination of the process of writing the book (Schindler's Ark is completed by the time we are halfway through), nor of making the film (though we do visit the set), nor is Schindler necessarily at its very heart. Reading it, one feels as if Keneally were in the room telling a series of anecdotes with the polish (and very slight weariness) of someone who has told them many times before: his thoughts on Spielberg, the actors, winning the Booker, meeting the Clintons-and his ever-present knowledge that his book's success is based on unthinkable horrors. Above all this reads like an affectionate and ultimately poignant thankyou to Poldek, one that seems very well deserved. Matthia Dempsey is deputy editor of Bookseller+Publisher
'Had I read SEARCHING FOR SCHINDLER before making the film, I may have made it an hour longer. I owe you so much. The world owes you more.' -- Steven Spielberg 'Keneally is incapable of writing a dull book. This memoir, listed as his 38th publication, is no exception' -- Andrew Riemer, Sydney Morning Herald