Facing emergency open heart surgery at the age of 82, humanitarian, scholar, educator and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel reflects on his life and works and upon his own mortality while probing essential questions about the nature of humanity and the existence of God. Drawing from memory - of the Holocaust, of friendships and precious familial relationships, of a prodigious teaching career, he questions whether he has done enough for mankind, how much time there is for him to do more. Eloquent, beautiful, moving. — Amy Palmer
A profoundly and unexpectedly intimate, deeply affecting summing up of life so far, from one of the most cherished moral voices of our time.
Eighty-two years old, facing emergency heart surgery and his own mortality, Elie Wiesel reflects back on his life. Emotions, images, faces, and questions flash through his mind. His family before and during the unspeakable Event. The gifts of marriage, children, and grandchildren that followed. In his writing, in his teaching, in his public life, has he done enough for memory and for the survivors? His ongoing questioning of God—where has it led? Is there hope for mankind? The world’s tireless ambassador of tolerance and justice gives us a luminous account of hope and despair, an exploration of the love, regrets, and abiding faith of a remarkable man.
Translated from the French by Marion Wiesel
About the Author
ELIE WIESEL was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The author of more than fifty internationally acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, he was Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and University Professor at Boston University for forty years. Wiesel died in 2016.
“In Open Heart’s brief chapters of spare descriptions and quiet dialogue, Wiesel reviews with eloquent and poignant clarity the entirety of his own history.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Wiesel is an asset to humankind. He has turned despondency into a message of approval and optimism. Wiesel packages equal parts beauty and astonishing description in an impossibly concise manner. Few authors have possessed such capacity for succinctness and brevity with magnificent dexterity.” —New York Journal of Books
“An absorbing, clear-eyed reflection on Wiesel’s own mortality and a candid account of a life lived. Open Heart is Wiesel at his most vulnerable and his most determined, and his thoughts and ideas have never been so lucidly conveyed.” —The Rumpus
“The reader becomes a quiet observer of Wiesel’s thoughts, which are plagued by the question: ‘Am I ready to die?’ His answer, clearly, is no. What seems like a quick and easy read actually delves deeply into the philosophical and makes you wonder: Will I be ready when it’s my time?” —The Free Lance-Star