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Praise for "En sten for Eva"

Praise for "En sten for Eva"

 

★★★★★★

A stroke of genius …

Thomas Harder and Lene Ewald Hesel have written the History Book of the Year. It tells the moving story of the fascinating Eva Salomonsen and conjures up an image of the decades when modern Copenhagen was born.

… not just the biography of a fascinating woman and her family, but also an important and thoroughly documented piece of Danish history told vividly and with profound empathy ...

… The notes are a joy in themselves, containing information on all sorts of everyday topics, from the treatment of polio to the menus at Eva’s dinner parties …

(Bent Blüdnikow, Berlingske Tidende, 4. October 2022: https://www.berlingske.dk/litteratur/naermest-doeende-blev-eva-smidt-op-i-en-lastbil-nu-fortaelles-hendes

 

★★★★★

… a microscopic view of cultural history …

… not an ordinary family saga. By constantly shifting between personal stories and the greater picture seen from a Jewish perspective the book provides a sweeping panorama of different epochs and ideological change. …

Hesel and Harder take their readers along on a thought-provoking journey through cultural history … the book’s character portrayals make it a beautiful, melancholy and originally angled history of Denmark, but also an efficient cure against the insensitivity of seeing genocide as just “statistics”.

This tour de force through a historical microcosm is to be recommended in its own right, but also as a fine, concrete introduction to the larger History.

(Flemming Østergaard, Jyllands-Posten.dk, 19 November 2022: https://jyllands-posten.dk/kultur/litteratur/ECE14578574/en-effektiv-kur-mod-historisk-ufoelsomhed/

 

… Uncovering Eva Salomonsen’s long, thought-provoking, and tragic history has required a great deal of detective work, but the result is an extremely fine book. … The book is lavishly illustrated, and the authors have evidently enjoyed finding curious and unusual old photos and drawings. …

Eva Salomonsen’s son and his two daughters escaped to Sweden and survived, but the authors manage to show that the rescue of the Danish Jews was less organised and more nerve wracking and horrific for the refugees than it may appear today …

A Stumbling Stone in front of Bredgade 51 reminds us of Eva Salomonsen’s fate. With their book Thomas Harder and Lene Ewald Hesel have now added a fine literary monument.

(Marcus Rubin, Politiken, 5. November 2022; https://politiken.dk/kultur/boger/art9052955/De-snublede-over-en-lille-sten-i-Bredgade.-Og-frem-voksede-en-fantastisk-fort%C3%A6lling

 

Mit dem Buch »En sten for Eva« (»Ein Stein für Eva«) hat das Autorenpaar Thomas Harder und Lene Ewald Hesel das diesjährige »historische Buch« Dänemarks veröffentlicht, das sowohl die packende Geschichte der faszinierenden Jüdin Eva Salomonsen enthält, als auch ein wichtiges Stück dänischer Geschichte mit viel Witz und tiefem Einfühlungsvermögen erzählt.

(Bent Blüdnikow, Flensborg Avis, 15 October 2022: https://www.fla.de/kultur/boger/49580/nu-fortaelles-evas-historie-og-den-er-en-genistreg)

 

The authors have done a magnificent and exceptionally thorough job at including all the details that make the book such an amazing read. Every detail is meticulously documented through books, articles, archival material, and interviews. …

The illustrations are relevant and beautifully reproduced. Many of the 400 notes are short essays in their own right. …

It’s not a history book – there are lots of those if all you want is an overview of events in the relevant years. It’s a family saga, but especially if you read the book in one go, it’s also a panorama of 150 years … which gives the reader a vivid impression of how much society, health and disease, and individual living conditions have changed from generation to generation.

(Hanne Bærentzeen, Radio Update, 1. October 2022: https://www.radioupdate.dk/nyheder.asp?page=4465&fbclid=IwAR2ycVl6bFdRgA6VePR8LFmr-c78myp46BqAUjTObG6WgCwuRuuJ0guI69g)

 

The book touched me deeply, it left me enthusiastic and enriched and full of respect.

… What makes this book so uniquely important is that we follow one old and dying woman on her way to annihilation. It’s an image that stays with the reader …

Eva Salomonsen’s biography is set in the context of Jewish history in Denmark … The elegant combination of daily life and broader historical and cultural developments make the characters stand out so vividly …

There are several reasons why this book is so groundbreaking: Firstly, the authors have more than managed to get under the skin of the characters who are salvaged from oblivion. You really get to know Eva Salomonsen, you feel her destiny. It’s been a long time since I last read a work of biography where the characters made such a strong impression. And secondly, it’s brilliant how the authors show us the society, the environment, and the events that shaped the characters’ destinies and daily lives and the places where they lived. The stench, poverty, progress political life, secularisation, and the wealth of the few appear again and again – told with professional distance but also with the empathy that is so necessary if the material is to come alive. Which it does.

(Erik Ingemann Sørensen, Historie-online.dk, 12 October 2022: https://www.historie-online.dk/boger/anmeldelser-5-5/biografier-erindringer-60-60/en-sten-for-eva)

 

.… A sweeping tale of Eva Salomonsen’s life, times, and family. Painstaking historical research, letters, diaries, and interviews with Eva’s relatives are woven into a broad narrative which brings to life characters, events, communities … Illustrated with numerous photos from family albums. ... a beautiful, meticulously written book with a rare wealth of details and illustrations … the story flows effortlessly through the pages. Readers with an interest in historical biographies have a great experience in store. … Librarians should expect a great demand for this book which has been much praised by reviewers.

(Annemette Schønberg Johnsen, Library Consultant, DBC)