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Nina Siegal

Forfatter af The Anatomy Lesson

5 Works 335 Members 18 Reviews

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Includes the name: Nina Siegal

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New York, New York, USA
Kort biografi
Nina Siegal has been a regular freelance contributor for The New York Times since 2012. Based in Amsterdam, she covers museums, exhibitions, art restoration and attribution issues, art world discoveries and legal cases, profiles of conductors, filmmakers, dancers and other cultural figures, and culture in a socio-political context. An occasional general-news reporter, she has also written about migration issues, emerging political parties and legal cases in the Netherlands.

Siegal began reporting for The Times in 1997 as a stringer for the San Francisco bureau, and worked for The Times' "The City" section in New York from 1998 to 2000, covering Harlem and The Bronx. After that, she spent four years as the cultural news and art market reporter for Bloomberg News in New York.

Siegal was born in New York City, graduated with a BA in English Literature from Cornell University and received her MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In addition to The Times, her freelance writing has appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, W. Magazine, Art in America, 1stDibs.com, ArtNews, Sotheby's Magazine, The Progressive, and the Holland Herald. She was the launching editor of Time Out Amsterdam, managing editor of Flow Magazine International, and a founding creative editor of See All This, a Dutch art magazine.

Nina has written two novels: THE ANATOMY LESSON (Nan A. Talese/Knopf Doubleday, 2014) and A LITTLE TROUBLE WITH THE FACTS (HarperCollins, 2008). For her fiction, she has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship in Creative Writing, two MacDowell Colony fellowships, and the post-graduate Jack Leggett Fellowship from Iowa. Her first novel was top finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship.



I was surprised by how few diarists’ entries are included. There were of the most famous ones though those were mentioned. From well over 1,000 options: 3 Jewish, 2 Dutch Nazis, 1 a member of the resistance, 1 young adult with no political affiliation, and a very few mentions of other diaries/diarists. I ended up liking and appreciating those selected.

It was interesting (and sometimes horrifying) reading the different perspectives of the same time periods & events.

The reading got a bit tedious at times for me. It might be because even though I keep reading non-fiction I’ve been more in the mood for fiction. Most of it was not at all boring. At times it read like a thriller. The information presented was fascinating and there was a lot about Holland and its Jews during WWII which was previously unknown to me in spite of my having reading hundreds of Holocaust books.

The diary excerpts are put in sections that are in chronological order: Part I: Occupation, May 1940-May 1941; Part II: Persecution and Deportation, April 1942-February 1944; Part III: Toward Liberation, May 1944-May 1945; Part IV: The War in Memory, May 1945-May 2022.

At the start of each section some general history information for that time period is given. I found these parts at least as interesting as the entries from the diaries. In addition to this general current event of the time information included is some of author’s and others’ biographical information and general happenings of that time period and more currently.

This is a superb book. It’s an important book. My only real criticism is its repetitiveness. I also wish there had been even more: more diary writers. It was heartbreaking to read about the lost diaries, the lost stories of people, and I felt greedy to read more knowing that there were thousands more available. The book is already long but perhaps a list of all the known Dutch diaries could have been included. I would have loved that.

The author is the daughter and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors but they were not from the Netherlands. The author and her daughter do live in the Netherlands.

My favorite diarist might be Philip Mechanicus. His portions are really well written. He had been a professional journalist, and I loved how he kept working at Westerbork to report what was going on there. Heartbreaking.

It was disturbing to read about NSB people writing about their relatively posh and normal daily lives when other people are writing about their stressful (to say the very least) daily lives.

The sections at the end that covered a new Memorial and current antisemitism are excellent.

I greatly appreciated the many photos. There is a center section with color photos and each section starts with one black & white photo. The color photo section includes photos of many of the diaries, their outsides and their insides too. In one case illustrations the diary writer made are shown on the pages.

I needed many breaks from this book. I think it’s an exceptionally good book but it was emotionally difficult to read. It felt as though it took me even longer to read than it did.

4-1/2 stars. This is a 5 star book all the way but a half star off for the repetitiveness (even though maybe it wouldn’t have been easy to avoid and even though there wasn’t really that much of it) and because at times I found it hard to read.
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Lisa2013 | 2 andre anmeldelser | Jun 27, 2023 |
Excerpt from a longer article:

Timely Take-aways for Life-long Learners

Lesser-known Stories from the World War II Era
Several new books explore the lesser-known stories of prisoners, survivors, resistance fighters, scientists, and other amazing individuals of the World War II era.


The Diary Keepers
Nina Siegal, 2023, Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Themes: History, War & Conflict, World War II, Holocaust
Based on more than two thousand Dutch diaries, Siegal shares the untold story of ordinary citizens during World War II revealing struggles often overlooked.
Take-aways: Use the new perspectives and first-person accounts to help students better understand the complexities of World War II and the Holocaust in the Netherlands.


Whether helping educators keep up-to-date in their subject-areas, promoting student reading in the content-areas, or simply encouraging nonfiction leisure reading, teacher librarians need to be aware of the best new titles across the curriculum and how to activate life-long learning. - Annette Lamb
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eduscapes | 2 andre anmeldelser | May 4, 2023 |
A riveting look at the story of World War II and the Holocaust through the diaries of Dutch citizens, firsthand accounts of ordinary people living through extraordinary times.
HandelmanLibraryTINR | 2 andre anmeldelser | Mar 19, 2023 |
The idea for this book seems so farfetched but then I found out it is based on a read Dutch tradition of dropping off blindfolded teens and preteens in the forest at night and letting them find their way to camp. An easy choice to turn into a thriller. Some minor plot issues but an enjoyable read.
JJbooklvr | 2 andre anmeldelser | Sep 18, 2021 |



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