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A memoir of Tom’s journey around the world to discover the complete story of Oskar Schindler and that list.

A memoir of Tom’s journey around the world to discover the complete story of Oskar Schindler and that list.

In 1980 Tom Keneally was in Beverley Hills returning from the Sorrento film festival where The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith had been showing. Looking for a new briefcase, Tom meets the Polish-Jewish Leopold Pfefferberg Page aka Poldek and his life for the next few years is taken over by this charismatic and driven man and the story he wants shared. "It's a story for you, I swear," he says to Tom.

The story is of course that of 'The all-drinking, all-screwing, all black-marketeering Nazi. But to me he was Jesus Christ, Oskar Schindler". And Poldek shared with Tom the story of Schindler's Ark which went on to win the Booker Prize and ultimately to become the Oscar award-winning film Schindler's List.

Schindler, the ruined Catholic hedonist, had something ambiguous about him that appealled to the ex-seminarian Tom Keneally who still struggled with his own Catholicism and his humanist view of the world. Oskar showed that virtue, regardless of race, creed or religion, emerged where it would. Tom was a small child during WWII and these memories, along with the appeal of Schindler and Poldek's insistence, influenced him to write the book Schindler's Ark .

Oskar and his Jews reduced the Holocaust - an almost untellable story in its scope and devastation - to an understandable human scale. Searching For Schindler is very much Tom's journey, he reflects on his early days as a writer with quite a bit of success - but no confidence - and how this book, the people he met, and the film it became, changed his life.

From his Sydney home, he tracked down the main player's in Poldek and Schindler's story. Tom and Poldek travelled across the US, Germany, Israel, Austria and Poland interviewing survivors and discovering extraordinary stories. Schindler's Ark took a huge toll on Tom, and his family, he had never been so overwhelmed by the writing of a story. It forced him to think about Australians and their attitudes to the Holocaust, to think about the Israel / Palestine situation and about families.

Not ready to give up the story of Schindler and his Jews after the enormous success of the book, Tom is there for the film adaptation and on set for the filming. Filled with stories of Steven Spielberg, Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes and many other well-known and strong characters Searching For Schindler gives Tom Keneally scope to show the wonderful, warm, thinking, compassionate and very funny man that he is.

Reviews

Abounds in amusing and poignant anecdotes.

The New York Times

Had I read Searching For Schindler before making the film, I may have made it an hour longer. I owe you so much. The world owes you more.

Steven Spielberg

I stayed up until 4 in the morning, reading [Tom’s memoir]. It is a wonderful book, as usual Thomas writing is beautiful. It also brought back many memories of ‘Schindler years’, as well as a glimpse into other parts of Tom’s life. I am sure that you know that Thomas has a very special place in the hearts of our family. Besides being such a great writer, he is also a wonderful and caring human being.

Milla Page and family

I am sure that Tom Keneally is incapable of writing a dull book. This memoir, listed as his 38th publication, is no exception.

Andrew Riemer, The Sydney Morning Herald

Coming to the end of a book by Tom Keneally, whether fiction or non-fiction, is a bit like stepping from a warm bath into the chill air of an unheated bathroom. In that moment before you wrap the towel around you, the urge to step back into the still warm water is overwhelming.

Elspeth Sandys, The New Zealand Listener

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781741666151

    September 1, 2008

    Vintage Australia

    320 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781864715187

    May 1, 2010

    Random House Australia

    320 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Awards and Recognition

  • APA Book Design Awards
    2008
    Shortlisted
    APA Book Design Awards (Graphic Design)

Also by Tom Keneally

The Daughters Of Mars
The Unmourned
Crimes of the Father
The Soldier's Curse
Napoleon's Last Island
The Place at Whitton
A Country Too Far: Teacher's Edition
The Great Australian Writers' Collection 2013
Shame and the Captives
A Country Too Far
Bring Larks and Heroes:Text Classics
Three Famines
The People's Train
Three Cheers For The Paraclete
The Widow And Her Hero
The Commonwealth Of Thieves
Roos In Shoes
The Tyrant's Novel
An Angel In Australia
American Scoundrel
Bettany's Book
The Great Shame
Jacko

Recommendations

The Choice
The Princess Diarist
Talking As Fast As I Can
Finding My Virginity
Bon: The Last Highway
The Story of the Jews
Man's Search For Meaning
Six Minutes in May
Endurance
The Boy Behind the Curtain
Everything to Live For
The House on the Hill
Hooked
When Breath Becomes Air
In Order To Live
Mindhunter
Lion: A Long Way Home
Secrets for the Mad
You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody)
Young Hitler