download Reading Cafe ScheherazadeAuthor Arnold Zable – Paydayloansnsi.co.uk

Pure poetry Nuff said. This novel of historical fiction relays the stories of several Jewish survivors of the horrors of World War II It is horrifying, full of individual courage and remarkable for the survival of the people in the novel and those they represent from real life The back drop for the novel is a real cafe in St Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia Here the author heard many stories and the result was this novel It is an excellent read. Wars really are like tsunamis, great waves that rush in and sweep people away, so many to their deaths, others to endless treks through strange countries living hand to mouth to survive I am so grateful to the marvellous Arnold Zable for writing Cafe Scheherazade By recounting some of the survivors stories I have caught a glimpse of a world that I was completely ignorant of.As he explains in his note, Zable writes, While Cafe Scheherazade is based on actual tales that Avram and Masha the pr Wars really are like tsunamis, great waves that rush in and sweep people away, so many to their deaths, others to endless treks through strange countries living hand to mouth to survive I am so grateful to the marvellous Arnold Zable for writing Cafe Scheherazade By recounting some of the survivors stories I have caught a glimpse of a world that I was completely ignorant of.As he explains in his note, Zable writes, While Cafe Scheherazade is based on actual tales that Avram and Masha the proprietors and others have told me, I have re shaped and reimagined them Yossel, Zalman and Laizer are composite characters, whose fictional journeys are based upon tales I have heard from many survivors As you read the stories you can t help but wonder how did these people survive This is a tale of many cities Each one recalled at a table in a cafe called Scheherazade, in a seaside suburb St Kilda that sprawls upon the very ends of the earth, within a city that contains the traces of many cities One such city is Vilna, the capital of Lithuania The Jerusalem of Lithuania, with its renowned yeshivas and houses of prayer, crumbling castles and fortress walls, elegant boulevards, cobblestone lanes, and its attics and garrets crowded with would be sages and talmudic scholars, obsessed rebels and pamphleteers, hell bent on changing a world that seemed to be forever spinning out of control Another city is Odessa in Ukraine They are like a chorus in a Greek drama, those who frequent Scheherazade on this winter morning They fill in the gaps They echo the central text Each one has a story aching to be told tales of townlets and cities now vanished from the earth, of journeys in search of refuge, a shelter from a curse Masha s family ran for their lives from the Polish city of Sosnowiec In September 1939 we ran for Siedlce, for the comfort of our bubbe and zeide We ran until we were surrounded, in a field Everything was burning Even the trees were on fire But because we were children the German soldiers spared us We settled in the border town of Lutzk, Masha continues But our freedom was short lived The Soviet police came to our home, in the middle of the night They battered the doors with batons and rifle butts Bistro Bistro they screamed You have twenty minutes to pack In February 1940, Laizer moved south from Vilna, deeper into Soviet territory, through White Russia and the Ukraine Despite the fact that he was a refugee, he knew his Polish passport would be suspect on Soviet soil Zalman, another of the cafe s patrons, recounts how a Japanese consul based in the city of Kovno saved thousands of lives He was willing to stamp our visas with permits that would enable us to buy our way out Zalman escaped war torn Europe by travelling through Siberia and then boarding a Japanese freighter that took him to Tsuruga in Japan and then Kobe Later, like Yossel, he spent time in Shanghai Survival is, after all, a matter of mazel, of luck, Laizer mutters Of whether you hid under a bush that wasn t bombed, whether you were spared a terminal disease Or whether you fled north or south, east or west Cafe Scheherazade is a wonderful compilations of stories of escape Stories that the average Australian would have no idea of except for Arnold Zable s work in listening to these stories and creating from them a marvellous work of art And the cover too, one of my all time favourites This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Going to University was a very formative experience for me After two years in college, I moved into a shared house with some of my new now life long friends Needless to say, these years were ones where looking after myself physically was not high on the agenda Missed meals, or take away, became part of my life.Except on Tuesday nights on Tuesday nights a group of us would travel to St Kilda from wherever we happened to be living, to have a meal at Cafe Scheherazade in Acland Street This Going to University was a very formative experience for me After two years in college, I moved into a shared house with some of my new now life long friends Needless to say, these years were ones where looking after myself physically was not high on the agenda Missed meals, or take away, became part of my life.Except on Tuesday nights on Tuesday nights a group of us would travel to St Kilda from wherever we happened to be living, to have a meal at Cafe Scheherazade in Acland Street This was often the only proper meal in a week s eating Barley soup, chicken and cheese sandwich on rye, or a schnitzel with the works I m feeling hungry just thinking about it The waitresses came to know us over the years, and like mother hens would encourage us to eat up As the years went by we finished our studies and moved into the workforce, and I remember the time a friend of mine, now a lawyer, appeared on the television news and how excited the waitresses were that Tuesday when we turned up for our regular meal We sometimes talked of how we would bring our children to Scheherazade when we had some.Well we now do all have kids, but unfortunately Cafe Scheherazade is noThe unstoppable gentrification of St Kilda, and the passing of the Holocaust generation saw its demise.As young 20 somethings, we d often sit at our table and wonder at the histories of the other people in the cafe, with their animated conversations in Polish, Russian, Yiddish, a combination of the three, or some other language We realised of course that it was the War that had led them to this particular end of the earth, and their European ness was still noticeable even after what, for most, had been a long time Down Under.Some of our questions are answered in this book by Arnold Zable while not a history, Zable writes in his Author s Note at the end of the book that he has written a homage to the power of storytelling, a mediation on displacement, and on the way in which the after effects of war linger on in the minds of survivors He goes on to note that w hile Cafe Scheherazade is based on actual events, and upon tales that Avram and Masha and others have told me, I have reshaped and re imagined them Yossel, Zalman and Laizer a composite characters, whose fictional journeys are based upon tales I have heard from many survivors The book is structured around the journalist Martin, who meets and talks with the regulars at the Cafe about their experiences during the War The stories we hear are incredible surviving bombing raids, ghettos, Soviet prison camps and work gangs, lucky stamps on passports that meant a journey to Japan and then Shanghai, where there werebombings, returning home after the War only to leave again on discovering that not only homes, but entire families had been wiped out Or stories of committed Bund members who were persecuted by the Nazis and the Communists, who formed partisan gangs and exacted revenge when and where they could All now sitting around tables at the Cafe Scheherazade named from a scene in the book Arc de Triomphe by Erich Maria Remarque, as Avram and Masha promised to rendezvous there in Paris after leaving Poland, Avram illegally and Masha legally.Zable s writing is very effective he captures the different middle European character types in his composite characters the philosopher, the schemer, and the soldier He shows them all in their different ways as lost souls, perpetually wandering the streets of their adopted home in search of they don t know what, drawn again and again to the coast, to look out across the bay, which leads to the nothingness of the Southern Ocean Each try to make sense of their experiences Laizer is given the quote I cannot see continuity in my journey, only broken lines His whole family perished in the Holocaust Zalman though I have lived in Melbourne for over fifty years, I have no sense of belonging I am acutely aware that everything is temporary in life, a mere bridge Yet he has reached a type of peace You have a taste for champagne, but a pocket only for beer So the saying goes But I have enough imagination to make beer taste like champagne This is the great gift I received Through losing everything, I became free Through these stories, the reader is perhaps able to begin to grasp something of what was lost, and to feel the horrors of that time for Eastern European Jews what it was to be a victim of fate as the World collapsed around you not just once, but many times There is some really powerful writing here.Zable also captures the atmosphere of Cafe Scheherazade within the book the groups of old men, the younger people, the future up market denizens of St Kilda that were sounding the death knell of Scheherazade even as they asked for Lattes at the counter And the food Schehererzade is a schnitzel gan eiden, he says, a schnitzel paradise It has the best And every variety My favourite is the chicken But, if you wish, you can have veal schnitzel, a Parisian schnitzel, a Wiener schnitzel Or you can order your own, the way you once had it, over there, homemade, in der alter velt I can still picture the big round brown tables and simple chairs, the place mats, the 50s wallpaper, and the drawings on the wall a true haven.Those of the War generation who once frequented this great place have all passed now, but Cafe Scheherazade s loss is still mourned by those of us who know nothing of the suffering that the owners and their friends went through to make it to 99 Acland Street, St Kilda.The site of Cafe Scheherazade is now a shoe shop.Check out my other reviews at In Acland Street, St Kilda, there stands a cafe called ScheherazadeThus begins this haunting meditation on displacement and the way the effects of war linger in the minds of its survivors At once fable and history, it takes the reader on a journey which ranges from Kobe to Paris, from Vilna and back to Melbourne Tragic, but tales that need to be told Uplifting stories that inspire and give hope At once fable and history Arnold Zable is a great storyteller. Welcome to Caf Scheherazade where our narrator, Martin sits in the backroom and listens to the proprietors Avram and Masha, and their regular clientele relive the Jewish Holocaust through their personal stories.Avram, stooped over his cup of coffee or a bowl of Borscht, recalls his days living in the Ghettos set up by the occupying German army, the mass graves and his last haunting image of his family as they disappeared into the smoldering city Masha and her family trudged through the Siberia Welcome to Caf Scheherazade where our narrator, Martin sits in the backroom and listens to the proprietors Avram and Masha, and their regular clientele relive the Jewish Holocaust through their personal stories.Avram, stooped over his cup of coffee or a bowl of Borscht, recalls his days living in the Ghettos set up by the occupying German army, the mass graves and his last haunting image of his family as they disappeared into the smoldering city Masha and her family trudged through the Siberian snow in the hope of reaching safety They met and fell in love after the war as displaced refugees looking for a place in the world which embodied their hopes.Caf Scheherazade, is deeply moving and written in poetic rich language Zable is a master at using the ancient art of story telling to transport the reader to wartime Europe Through these stories, Zable creates a portal through which we are witness to the horrors of war and the triumph of the human spirit The book was a little disjointed to start with but I m really pleased I kept reading It contained some heart wrenching accounts of the experiences of Jewish refugees, their survival through the horrors of war and their journeys to a new life in Melbourne A couple of passages that resonated with me You have a taste for champagne, but a pocket only for beer.But I have enough imagination to make beer taste like champagne This is the great gift I received Through losing everything I became The book was a little disjointed to start with but I m really pleased I kept reading It contained some heart wrenching accounts of the experiences of Jewish refugees, their survival through the horrors of war and their journeys to a new life in Melbourne A couple of passages that resonated with me You have a taste for champagne, but a pocket only for beer.But I have enough imagination to make beer taste like champagne This is the great gift I received Through losing everything I became free I no longer care for anthems, and I no longer care even for nations They too are transient The truth of who we are lies elsewhere, in the way we order our inner lives as we drift over unknown seas And this one No one has a monopoly over hatred No one has a monopoly over suffering As a follow on from reading The Book Thief so very excellent Cafe S addsdetail from Jewish survivors of the slave labour camps around the lead up to WW2 and Nazi invasions in Eastern Europe These people s stories are elicited by a newspaper journalist who meets them each day at a local Melbourne seaside cafe It is semi biographical in nature and I am half way through it it keeps me coming back for.Finished it sorry to see it finish really and now I am back on this websit As a follow on from reading The Book Thief so very excellent Cafe S addsdetail from Jewish survivors of the slave labour camps around the lead up to WW2 and Nazi invasions in Eastern Europe These people s stories are elicited by a newspaper journalist who meets them each day at a local Melbourne seaside cafe It is semi biographical in nature and I am half way through it it keeps me coming back for.Finished it sorry to see it finish really and now I am back on this website the story has been made into a play in Melbourne Good idea, should be good to go to Emotionally, I found this book very hard to read as it is stories from Holocaust survivors Zable has written in the first person from people who have existed in Siberia, Shanghai and other places which were challenging in World War II.From a writing point point of view it is just awesome I don t have enough words to tell you how good Zable s writing is He uses words very carefully and it s easy to see exactly what he means. Cafe Scheherazade


About the Author: Arnold Zable

Zable was born on 10 January 1947 in Wellington, New Zealand to Polish Jewish refugee parents They moved early in his life to Australia and he grew up in Carlton, Victoria.Zable is known as a storyteller through his memoirs, short stories and novels Australian critic Susan Varga says that Zable s award winning memoir, Jewels and Ashes, was a ground breaking book in Australia, one of the first of what has since become a distinct auto biographical genre a second generation writer returns to the scene of unspeakable crimes to try to understand a fraught and complex legacy, and, in so doing, embarks on a journey into the self In an interview Zable explained that the rights and experiences of refugees and asylum seekers underpins his work The current generation of refugees are experiencing the intense challenges faced by previous generations We tend to forget, or fail to imagine, how difficult it is to start life anew far from the homeland We forget also that nostalgia, the longing for the return to homeland, is a deep and enduring aspect of the refugee experience In the same interview he said about his language that I am drawn to the quirky sayings and observations that define a person or a culture.


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