Elie Wiesel: How did "Night" become a bestseller after rejections from publishers?
But “Night” had taken a long route to the best-seller list. In the late 1950s, long before the advent of Holocaust memoirs and Holocaust studies, Wiesel’s account of his time at Auschwitz and Buchenwald was turned down by more than 15 publishers before the small firm Hill & Wang finally accepted it. How “Night” became an evergreen is more than a publishing phenomenon. It is also a case study in how a book helped created a genre, how a writer became an icon and how the Holocaust was absorbed into the American experience.
Raised in an Orthodox family in Sighet, Transylvania, Wiesel was liberated from Buchenwald at age 16. In unsentimental detail, “Night” recounts daily life in the camps — the never-ending hunger, the sadistic doctors who pulled gold teeth, the Kapos who beat fellow Jews. On his first day in the camps, Wiesel was separated forever from his mother and sister. At Auschwitz, he watched his father slowly succumb to dysentery before the SS beat him to within an inch of his life. Wiesel writes honestly about his guilty relief at his father’s death. In the camps, the formerly observant boy underwent a profound crisis of faith; “Night” was one of the first books to raise the question: where was God at Auschwitz?...
comments powered by Disqus
Bradley Smith - 3/5/2008
Mr. Wiesel's book Night is saturated with fraud. If you google "Elie Wiesel fraud" you find 37,000 plus references to the issue. A more appropriate question with regard to this book is:
"Why has the American professorial class, as a class, encouraged students to read Night for decades without honestly addressing the fraud in the book, and in the man?"
- Israel Museum turns a 'brief history of humankind' into exhibit
- What Niall Ferguson's been tweeting lately
- Scholar of Urban Riots: Expect More Unrest
- Historian says Indian mascots remain popular even at schools that dropped them
- A column by Johns Hopkins historian N. D. B. Connolly causes a firestorm on the website of New York Times