Carole Angier

Hidden Treasure

The Seventh Well

By

Granta Books 160pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

You wouldn’t have thought it possible for great works of Holocaust literature to continue to emerge, over six decades after the event. But it is. In 2006 we had Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française, famously hidden in a suitcase for sixty years. In 2004 we had Béla Zsolt’s Nine Suitcases, written in 1946-7 and first published in book form in Hungary in 1980; and now this fictionalised memoir, written by a Viennese but published in East Germany in 1971. The Communist East was like Némirovsky’s suitcase, hiding its treasures from us (as well as its horrors) for all those years. The Seventh Well may not even be the last. Is anyone looking?

Némirovsky and Zsolt (like Paul Celan and Tadeusz Borowski) were writers before the Nazi storm broke over them. Wander (like Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel) became one afterwards. An overwhelming number of Europe’s artists and intellectuals were Jews, before the Holocaust; their existence was one of the reasons for it. It is also why the Nazi genocide is one of the best reported in history.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Although he travels through time and space to find the best produce, his choices, delightfully, are not obvious.'… ,
    • RT : I regularly make purchases based on - it’s excellent.,
    • RT : I wrote about Yoko Ogawa's dreamlike, allegorical novel The Memory Police, newly published in English in a translat… ,
    • 'At this frankly apocalyptic moment for indigenous rights in Brazil, John Hemming’s "People of the Rainforest" is a… ,
    • 'I was dumbfounded by the view of the Berlin Wall from the eastern side. It seemed inconceivable that in under thre… ,
    • RT : Danger for ‘local’ staff, access in exchange for silence (and logos) - all sounds familiar in this fascinating look… ,
    • 'He has long been eclipsed by Vermeer, though his interiors are arguably more ambitious.' David Gelber on the Dutc… ,