The Zookerper’s Wife
The Zookerper’s Wife is a novel inspired of a real story, wrote by Diane Ackerman. The bokk was adapt in cinema by Niki Caro in 2017.
Diane Ackerman was born in 1948 in Ilinois in United States. She is a poet, an essayist and a novelist. She worked for many Univerties like Columbia or Pittsburgh. She is a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She had a Guggenheim bourse. She is married with the novelist Paul West. She lives in Athaca in the States of New York. In 2012 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for One Hundred Names For Love. The Zookerper’s Wife received an Orion book Award in 2008. Ackerman had three bestsellers: The Human Age (2014), The Zookerper’s Wife (2008), A Natural History Of The Sens (1999). She is a member of The NEw York Institute for the Humanities.
During the Nazis occupation in Poland, the director of the Warsaw zoo, Jan Zabinsky and his wife Antonina hid almost 300 people, mainly Jews evaxuated from the guetto. They hid them in the basement of their villa and of the zoo. Germans ner found out. Six million Europeans Jews died during the genocide organized by the Nazis. All the people hid by the Zabinsky exept two survived. The Shoah Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem honoured this couple with the tittle of Rigtousness among Nation, attributed to those who had rescuded Jews during the Second World War. Niki Caro said that she « didn’t want to make a film about the Holocaust but it was different. Most of our war films deal with men. But it’s talking women, children and animals and I’m very interested in that ». While Jan was often absent because he was engaged in the Polish Resistance, it was Antonina who tooks care of their guest with the animal compagny including a piglet, an otter and a badger. Nazi Germans were always deployed in the zoo. Helping jews enven offering water was punished by the death in this time. Antonina played an air of piano to warned her guests when the Nazis approached so that they could escaped by underground tunnels. The Zookerper’s Wife is an astonishing book. In first his form looks like a docu-fiction. The book mixed fictionnal passage with descriptive narrations. It’s based on Antonina’ diary and Jan’s interviews.
I really liked this book that tells us the story of Jan and Antonina Zabinsky: two ordinary people who became real heros during the Holocaust. They showed their curage and their strong-willed in saving more than 300 Jews of the death while they trying to live. We can see the destruction of the zoo and the power of Germans Nazis. Zabinsky uses the structure of the zoo to hide people. This books makes us see History differently. It’s a book that must to be read.