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Primo Levi was born in Turin in 1919 and trained as chemist. Arrested a member of the anti-fascist resistance during the war, he was deported to Auschwitz. His experiences there are described in his two classic autobiographical works, IF THIS IS A MAN and THE TRUCE.
Sharon Dogar, April 2011 Guest Editor: "Clear your desk. Send the children away for the weekend. Create an untrammelled space in your life and then read this book. Primo Levi gives thought and words to an experience (life in Auschwitz) that over half a century later the human race is still struggling to come to terms with. In processing his experience Levi refuses to become a victim of it. The questions raised by this book are endless. Levi died from a fall down a stairwell. Was it suicide, and if so, did that mean the camps had finally been bigger than he was, and therefore defined him? Having read If this is a Man countless times, my own view is different. If you have lived (as Levi did) with death as a constant companion, as a card that can be dealt at any moment from the hands of your jailors, then perhaps it might feel like a form of freedom to finally reclaim it for yourself. There are no words that can describe the scale of his achievement with this book. You’ve either read it or you haven’t. Life-changing."