2020 Longlist

The Tattooist of Auschwitz


2020 Longlist

Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies  man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of Tätowierer – the tattooist – to mark his fellow prisoners, forever. One of them is a young woman, Gita, who steals his heart at first glance. His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good.

This story is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov.

About the Author

Heather Morris is a native of New Zealand, now resident in Australia. She has written several screenplays. In 2003, Heather was introduced to Lale Sokolov. That day changed both their lives and as their friendship grew, he entrusted her with the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust.

Librarian’s Comments

Heather Morris has written about one of the most horrifying chapters in human history – the Holocaust. The story, which is based on the harrowing experience of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian jew, grabs you by your heart and twists it, until it is painfully hollow, and then fills it up again with warmth and hope. Despite the sickening and dreadful realities which hang above the heads of the novel’s characters, they are able to show sincere love and care for each other. Their tale proves, once again, that the human spirit can withstand almost anything. Because humanity is much more than the worst examples of us. Tallinn Central Library, Estonia

This book evoked a huge response from our readers, who found it both heart wrenching and hopeful, becoming the most borrowed non-genre fiction title for 2018. Auckland Libraries, New Zealand



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