The Hare with Amber Eyes

The Hare with Amber Eyes : A Hidden Inheritance

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An" Economist" Book of the Year Costa Book Award Winner for Biography Galaxy National Book Award Winner (New Writer of the Year Award)Edmund de Waal is a world-famous ceramicist. Having spent thirty years making beautiful pots--which are then sold, collected, and handed on--he has a particular sense of the secret lives of objects. When he inherited a collection of 264 tiny Japanese wood and ivory carvings, called netsuke, he wanted to know who had touched and held them, and how the collection had managed to survive. And so begins this extraordinarily moving memoir and detective story as de Waal discovers both the story of the netsuke and of his family, the Ephrussis, over five generations. A nineteenth-century banking dynasty in Paris and Vienna, the Ephrussis were as rich and respected as the Rothchilds. Yet by the end of the World War II, when the netsuke were hidden from the Nazis in Vienna, this collection of very small carvings was all that remained of their vast empire.

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  • Paperback | 354 pages
  • 137.16 x 205.74 x 27.94mm | 204.12g
  • St Martin's Press
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white halftones
  • 0312569378
  • 9780312569372
  • 5,864

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“Enthralling . . . [de Waal’s] essayistic exploration of his family’s past pointedly avoids any sentimentality . . . "The Hare with Amber Eyes "belongs on the same shelf with Vladimir Nabokov’s "Speak, Memory."” —Michael Dirda, "The Washington Post Book World "“At one level [Edmund de Waal] writes in vivid detail of how the fortunes were used to establish the Ephrussis’ lavish lives and high positions in Paris and Vienna society. And, as Jews, of their vulnerability: the Paris family shaken by turn-of-the century anti-Semitism surging out of the Dreyfus affair; the Vienna branch utterly destroyed in Hitler’s 1937 Anschluss . . . At a deeper level, though, "Hare" is about something more, just as Marcel Proust’s masterpiece was about something more than the trappings of high society. As with "Remembrance of Things Past," it uses the grandeur to light up interior matters: aspirations, passions, their passing; all in a

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About Edmund de Waal

Edmund de Waal's porcelain has been displayed in many museum collections around the world, and he has recently made an installation for the dome of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He was apprenticed as a potter, studied in Japan, and studied English at Cambridge. He is Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster and lives in London with his family.

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