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The Boxer: The True Story of Holocaust Survivor Harry Haftby Reinhard Kleist
Synopses & Reviews
Poland, 1941. Sixteen-year-old Harry Haft is sent to Auschwitz. When he is forced to fight against other inmates for the amusement of the SS officers, Haft shows extraordinary strength and courage, and a determination to survive. As the Soviet Army advances in April 1945, he makes a daring escape from the Nazis. After negotiating the turmoil of postwar Poland, Haft immigrates to the United States and establishes himself as a professional prizefighter, remaining undefeated until he faces heavyand#173;weight champion Rocky Marciano in 1949. In The Boxer, Reinhard Kleist reveals another side to the steely Harry Haft: a man struggling to escape the memories of the fiancand#233;e he left behind in Poland. This is a powerful and moving graphic novel about love and the will to survive.
"This graphic novel, which tells the true story of Holocaust survivor Hertzko 'Harry' Haft, leaves a deep impression. Haft is separated from his family in Nazi-occupied Poland, sent to a series of concentration camps, and subjected to unimaginable brutality, including being forced by the SS to fight in a terrifying series of boxing matches. Readers need only observe Haft's chilling physical transformation to see how remarkable his story of survival is. Despite the sheer inhumanity of his circumstances, Haft is driven by an indomitable will, fueled by the conviction that Leah, the woman he loves, is also somehow managing to survive the Nazi genocide. When his pugilistic skills lead him to a career as a boxer in America after the war, Haft can only hope that his rising success — which includes a shot at the legendary boxer, Rocky Marciano — attracts Leah's attention and ultimately reunites them. Although Kleist (Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness) spares the reader nothing in depicting one of the darkest periods in human history, he always has the unconquerable spirit of his protagonist clearly in focus. Drawn in stark black and white panels, characterized by a visceral sharpness of lines and angles, Kleist's narrative is set in a perfect visual landscape. It's safe to say this is an early candidate for graphic novel of the year honors. (Mar.) " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The image of Samia Yusuf Omar running for last place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics will forever be imprinted in the minds of all who saw it: The lean Somalian, wearing knee-length leggings and a baggy T-shirt, came in seconds behind her competitors. What the cheering crowd couldnandrsquo;t know then was what it took to get there. An Olympic Dream follows Omarandrsquo;s second attempt to represent her country at the Olympics, this time in London. Reinhard Kleist pictures the athlete training in one of the most dangerous cities in the world; her passage through Sudan and into Libya; and her fateful attempt to reach Europe. By telling the story of one remarkable woman, Kleist gives voice to the thousands of migrants who risk their lives daily for a better future.
In the mid-1930s, Irmina, an ambitious young German, travels to London. There she meets Howard Green, one of the first black students at Oxford. Like Irmina, Howard is looking for an independent existenceandmdash;and a love affair blossoms between the two outsiders. But the relationship comes to an abrupt end when Irmina, constrained by the political situation in Hitlerandrsquo;s Germany, has to return to Berlin. Political events accelerate, and her letters to Howard are returned unopened. It will be 30 years until she receives another. Based on a true story, this moving and perceptive graphic novel conjures the oppressive atmosphere of wartime Germany and reflects on the passive complicity of its people with sympathy and intelligence.
About the Author
Reinhard Kleist has written a number of critically acclaimed graphic novels, among them the award-winning biographies Havana: A Cuban Journey (2008), Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness (Abrams ComicArts, 2009), and Castro (2010). Kleist lives in Berlin, Germany.
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