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The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance

Category: Book
By (author): de Waal, Edmund
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Artists, Architects, Photographers
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Picador
Published: August 2011
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 8.31in x 5.43in x 1.00in
Our Price:
$ 23.50
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*An Economist Book of the Year Costa Book Award Winner for Biography Galaxy National Book Award Winner (New Writer of the Year Award) Edmund de Waal is a world-famous ceramicist. Having spent thirty years making beautiful pots - which are then sold, collected, and handed on - he has a particular sense of the secret lives of objects. When he inherited a collection of 264 tiny Japanese wood and ivory carvings, called netsuke, he wanted to know who had touched and held them, and how the collection had managed to survive. And so begins this extraordinarily moving memoir and detective story as de Waal discovers both the story of the netsuke and of his family, the Ephrussis, over five generations. A nineteenth-century banking dynasty in Paris and Vienna, the Ephrussis were as rich and respected as the Rothchilds. Yet by the end of the World War II, when the netsuke were hidden from the Nazis in Vienna, this collection of very small carvings was all that remained of their vast empire.
Review Quote*
"Spellbinding . . . profoundly involving . . . a sensitive and astute inquiry into culture and family, inheritance and preservation, and the secret life of objects." -Donna Seaman, Booklist "A lovely, gripping book." - The Wall Street Journal

"An extraordinary history . . . a serendipitous find: The Hare with Amber Eyes is a wondrous book, as lustrous and exquisitely crafted as the netsuke at its heart." -Heller McAlpin, Christian Science Monitor

"Part family memoir, part Proutian confession, subtle, spare, and elegant." -Hilary Spurling, The Independent (London)

"A marvelously absorbing synthesis of art history, detective story, and memoir. . . . Remarkable."

- Kirkus Reviews

"[This] book is also a new genre, unnamed and maybe unnameable . . . [a] cabinet of wonders." - The Guardian (London)

"Full of beauty. . . . Buy two copies . . . keep one and give the other to your closest bookish friend."

- The Economist

"[A] beguiling reflection on art, family, and several decades of convulsive European history. . . . The ultimate message of this engrossing book is a profound one: that our lives are made and unmade in the company of things." - Telegraph (London)

"Absorbing and thrilling to read." - The Times (London)

Biographical NoteEdmund de Waal 's porcelain has been displayed in many museum collections around the world, and he has recently made an installation for the dome of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He was apprenticed as a potter, studied in Japan, and studied English at Cambridge. He is Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster and lives in London with his family. Edmund de Waal is one of the world's leading ceramic artists, and his porcelain is held in many major international collections. His bestselling memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes , was shortlisted for numerous prizes and won the Costa Biography Award and the RSL Ondaatje Prize.