PRIMO LEVI: Tragedy of an Optimist.

Levi, Primo, 1919-1987] Anissimov, Myriam.

ISBN 10: 0879518065 / ISBN 13: 9780879518066
Published by Woodstock NY: Overlook Press, (1999.) dj, 1999
From Bookfever, IOBA (Volk & Iiams) (Ione, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since November 6, 1997

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 31.50 Convert Currency
Shipping: Free Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Hardcover first edition - First US printing. "Primo Levi is represented in this world almost entirely by his writings, and his public self--shy, intelligent, diffident--in some respects disguised the man within. This first biography delves deeply into the life and mind of the controversial writer" a chemist by training, a partisan during World War II, a philosopher, and most importantly a survivor of the concentration camps and a Holocaust witness. Translated from the French by Steve Cox. List of Primo Levi's works. Photographs, notes, glossary of concentration camp terms, bibliography, and index. x, 452 pp. Near fine in near fine dust jacket (some light toning to the pages, very minor shelfwear.). Bookseller Inventory # 57307

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: PRIMO LEVI: Tragedy of an Optimist.

Publisher: Woodstock NY: Overlook Press, (1999.) dj

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


A biography of the Italian chemist and writer describes his experience in Auschwitz and his life-long mission to tell the world about the Holocaust


In 1987, the literary world was shocked when the Italian writer and chemist Primo Levi died after falling down the stairs in the very home where he had been born 78 years earlier. The reason his death caused such surprise was the widely held suspicion that it was suicide--Levi, a man who had lived through 18 tortured months in Auschwitz, was known as a survivor.

What kept him alive through the Holocaust was an intense yearning to tell the world exactly what had happened, and when the war was over he immediately began writing. His books about the horrors he had lived through include If This Is a Man and the brilliant The Periodic Table. Levi also lectured, gave interviews, and led tours to Auschwitz, yet he always wondered if he had done enough. Once, pointing to the number tattooed on his arm, he said, "That is my disease." His tombstone in Turin bears his name; his dates of birth and death; and his number, 174517.

Myriam Anissimov, a Paris-based writer and journalist, painstakingly recorded Levi's life using hitherto unpublished letters and poems. She also consulted archives and interviewed Levi's colleagues and friends. Levi believed writers should be concise and clear, avoiding embellishments and convolutions, and that's exactly what Anissimov has accomplished. Her work will prove to be an invaluable resource for scholars and researchers, but readers who desire some insight into Levi's personality may be disappointed. His marriage is dealt with in just a few paragraphs and there's barely a mention of his children or any other significant relationships in his life. After reading this 450-page book, readers will have gained an excellent understanding of Levi's work, but little of him.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description - the name used by Volk and Iiams, Booksellers- specializes in first editions of twentieth century literature, with an emphasis on women authors, African American, Native American and Latin American authors - plus mystery & detective fiction, science fiction & fantasy, poetry and children's & illustrated books. We try to offer many uncommon books, and have a large selection of first books, and books by authors who are less frequently collected. Of the approximately 50,000 volumes in stock, the majority are hardcover first editions, although we also stock vintage science fiction paperbacks as well as sf digests and pulps. We also have a large selection of books signed by the author and uncorrected proof copies. Less than 50% of our stock is catalogued, so please inquire if you are searching for specific titles. Selling books by mail order and on the internet since 1993. We have a large booth dedicated to books (called Books Upstairs) at the Antiques Upstairs Mall, 5 Main Street, Jackson, CA. (open every day from 10-5) The emphasis there is on Western Americana, children¿s books and inexpensive reading copies. In 1998 we relocated our main business from Sacramento to the Sierra foothills of Amador County, about 35 miles east of downtown Sacramento and between Ione & Sutter Creek. There, on 10 acres of rolling oak-covered hills, we built a ¿bookhouse¿ for our books. When we are there, we welcome visitors by appointment (call 209-274-6960 or, in the US only, toll free at 1-877-bookfev or contact us by email Our web page is Traditional bookseller grading used - fine is our highest grade (an "A"), very good is above average (a "B), good is average (a "C"). All significant flaws are described; dust jackets are protected by archival covers, and books are packed carefully for shipping. We welcome questions by email or phone.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale: is a partnership between Christine Volk and Eugene Iiams, Booksellers. Our mailing address is PO Box 696, Ione CA 95640 USA. Our store is located at 5 Main Street, Jackson, CA 95642 USA. Email: Phone: 209-274-6960. We accept Mastercard, Visa AMEX, Discover, checks or Paypal, whichever is most convenient for customers. Please contact us if you have any questions, or want to confirm availability. All dustjackets are in archival mylar covers, and books are packed ...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Shipping includes insurance and/or delivery confirmation when appropriate. All dust jackets are covered with archival protectors. All books are PACKED CAREFULLY; we are also happy to gift wrap books (FREE) upon request, and to ship them with just a card. Prices shown include media mail shipping in the US and California sales tax, when required. An online bookseller since 1993, on ABE since 1997! While occasionally a book sells out, we only list books which we have in stock, and ready to ship. NOTE our low INTERNATIONAL RATES - Please do not hesitate to contact us to confirm availability or with any questions - we can be reached at or toll-free in the USA at 877*266*5338 (bookfev) or outside the US at 209*274*6960. Reciprocal terms offered to the trade on direct orders only. Libraries and other institutions may request to be invoiced.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal Bank Draft