Books by Primo Levi
The Periodic Table
by Primo Levi
Primo Levi's The Periodic Table is a collection of short stories that elegantly combines the author's experiences in Fascist Italy, and in Auschwitz, with his passion for chemistry.
by Primo Levi
La Tregua is an extraordinary book. Levi wrote his first book, If This Is a Man, immediately after being repatriated to Italy after his time in Auschwitz so that book was much more vivid. He wrote this book 20 years later and it is much more considered. The events occur after the liberation of Auschwitz.
“It’s about his 11 months in Auschwitz. I was reading this over the weekend—just to bone up for this interview—and just like every other time I’ve read it, it stretches my ability to comprehend. The physical and emotional pain is extremely intense. Even the most inured cynic is taken aback by the infrastructure of human cruelty in the camp.” Read more...
The best books on Philosophy and Prison
Andy West, Philosopher
The Drowned and the Saved
by Primo Levi
“Perhaps because he was a scientist he wrote with a precision and definiteness, at the opposite pole from rhetoric. This gives his books immense power, as what he describes could only be diminished by any striving for effect. The Drowned and the Saved is his most reflective book on the Nazi genocide and on his own experiences and what he saw in other people. The chapter on “The Grey Zone” is a brilliant discussion of tragic choices and moral ambiguities.”
Interviews where books by Primo Levi were recommended
The best books on Moral Philosophy, recommended by Jonathan Glover
The questions of moral philosophy are not always best answered by philosophy books, says leading moral philosopher, Jonathan Glover. He explores questions of how we should live and by what values in books spanning across multiple genres.
The best books on Philosophy and Prison, recommended by Andy West
By teaching philosophy in prisons, British philosopher Andy West was not only able to engage with core issues of the human condition, but also to come to terms with members of his own family’s experience of being in prison. Here, he talks us through some books that deal with being locked up, from Auschwitz to Vancouver Island, as well as one by a victim of violent crime.
The best books on Human Rights and Literature, recommended by Lyndsey Stonebridge
The connections between human rights and literature are profound and we ignore the humanities and reading at our peril, says Lyndsey Stonebridge, Interdisciplinary Professor of Humanities at the University of Birmingham. She recommends books that best show the complex relationship between literature and human rights, from Auschwitz to Manus Island.
The Best War Writing, recommended by Kate McLoughlin
War writing extends to all sorts of genres, including blogs and Twitter. Oxford University’s Professor Kate McLoughlin, author of Authoring War: The Literary Representation of War from the Iliad to Iraq recommends some of her favourite books of war writing.
The best books on Forgiveness, recommended by Simon Mawer
Novelist Simon Mawer picks his favourite books on forgiveness.
Aleksandar Hemon on Man’s Inhumanity to Man
When reading books, we often empathize with a main character and find redemption in our emotional response to their fate. But it’s more important to think, says Bosnian novelist Aleksandar Hemon. Here, he picks the best books on ‘man’s inhumanity to man.’
The best books on War Crimes, recommended by Andrew Cayley
Having served as the International Co-Prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia, Andrew Cayley QC draws on his firsthand experience to nominate the best books on war crimes.
The best books on Science Writing, recommended by Tim Radford
What makes for good science writing? The longtime Guardian science editor, Tim Radford, chooses his five favourite science books.
The best books on First-Person Narratives, recommended by William Fiennes
Writing in the first person doesn’t have to be inward-looking or egotistical, says the author of The Snow Geese. He tells us about his favourite autobiographical works that use the first person to look out into the world
VE Day Books: Editors’ Picks, recommended by Sophie Roell
For the anniversary of VE or Victory in Europe Day, Five Books editor Sophie Roell takes a personal tour of books about World War II and the Holocaust.