The Coldest Winter

The Coldest Winter

A Stringer in Liberated Europe

Book - 2005
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Baker & Taylor
The author describes her movements across Europe's scrambled post-war borders, including trips to empty castles and ruined cathedrals and a stint in bombed out Warsaw in the midst of the Communist takeover.

McMillan Palgrave

In this elegant and affecting companion to her “extraordinary” memoir, Borrowed Finery, a young writer flings herself into a Europe ravaged by the Second World War (The Boston Globe)


In 1946, Paula Fox walked up the gangplank of a partly reconverted Liberty with the classic American hope of finding experience—or perhaps salvation—in Europe. She was twenty-two years old, and would spend the next year moving among the ruins of London, Warsaw, Paris, Prague, Madrid, and other cities as a stringer for a small British news service.
In this lucid, affecting memoir, Fox describes her movements across Europe’s scrambled borders: unplanned trips to empty castles and ruined cathedrals, a stint in bombed-out Warsaw in the midst of the Communist election takeovers, and nights spent in apartments here and there with distant relatives, friends of friends, and in shabby pensions with little heat, each place echoing with the horrors of the war. A young woman alone, with neither a plan nor a reliable paycheck, Fox made her way with the rest of Europe as the continent rebuilt and rediscovered itself among the ruins.
Long revered as a novelist, Fox won over a new generation of readers with her previous memoir, Borrowed Finery. Now, with The Coldest Winter, she recounts another chapter of a life seemingly filled with stories—a rare, unsentimental glimpse of the world as seen by a writer at the beginning of an illustrious career.

Paula Fox is the author of one previous memoir, Borrowed Finery, and six novels, including Desperate Characters, The Widow's Children, and Poor George. She is also a Newbery Award-winning children's book author. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
In 1946, Paula Fox walked up the gangplank of a partly reconverted Liberty with the classic American hope of finding experience—or perhaps salvation—in Europe. She was twenty-two years old, and would spend the next year moving among the ruins of London, Warsaw, Paris, Prague, Madrid, and other cities as a stringer for a small British news service.
 
In this lucid memoir, Fox describes her movements across Europe's scrambled borders: unplanned trips to empty castles and ruined cathedrals, a stint in bombed-out Warsaw in the midst of the Communist election takeovers, and nights spent in apartments here and there with distant relatives, friends of friends, and in shabby pensions with little heat, each place echoing with the horrors of the war. A young woman alone, with neither a plan nor a reliable paycheck, Fox made her way with the rest of Europe as the continent rebuilt and rediscovered itself among the ruins.
 
With The Coldest Winter, Paula Fox recounts a chapter of a life seemingly filled with stories—a rare, unsentimental glimpse of the world as seen by a writer at the beginning of an illustrious career.
"Pointilist in detail, lapidary in method and brutal in effect . . . an eloquent, disturbing memoir."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
"[A] singular, unsentimental memoir."—Chris Lehmann, The Washington Post Book World
 
"Borrowed Finery restores the memoir of atrocious American girlhood . . . to a condition of dignity and elegance."—Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Review of Books
 
"Beautifully written, understated, and powerful."—Francine Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine
 
"A marvel of compact observation, a survival story that makes one gasp with outrage and admiration."—Heller McAlpin, San Francisco Chronicle
 
"In her acclaimed memoir, Borrowed Finery (2001), Fox wrote with quiet power about her traumatic childhood. Now she writes about huge political upheaval, and once again she brings it close with small, intimate details. She remembers herself at 23 in 1946 as a journalist stringer in post-World War II Europe. She meets the famous, including Paul Robeson and Jean-Paul Sartre. But what moves her beyond herself are the experiences of ordinary people. There is no uplift about the loftiness or dignity of the human spirit. She knows that clear answers don't tell the truth. Racism and brutality are still there, along with indifference. But she finds redemption in a sick old man who finds the strength to rescue a stray dog on the railroad tracks. In an unforgettable scene in a freezing, bombed-out opera house in Yugoslavia, the orchestra plays the Brahms violin concerto and the audience listens so intently 'it was as though we had never heard music nor would again.' You read the simple words slowly, and they haunt you."—Hazel Rochman, Booklist
 
"A year after WWII ended, Fox, then 22, left New York City for Europe, where she found work as a stringer for a small British news service . . . In sparse, careful prose, Fox relates her experiences in London, Paris, Prague, Warsaw and Spain in 1946 . . . The picture Fox paints of postwar Europe is both profoundly beautiful and sad, and her memoir is affecting, leaving one wishing she had stayed there longer."—Publishers Weekly


Holtzbrinck
In this elegant and affecting companion to her “extraordinary” memoir, Borrowed Finery, a young writer flings herself into a Europe ravaged by the Second World War (The Boston Globe)

In 1946, Paula Fox walked up the gangplank of a partly reconverted Liberty with the classic American hope of finding experience—or perhaps salvation—in Europe. She was twenty-two years old, and would spend the next year moving among the ruins of London, Warsaw, Paris, Prague, Madrid, and other cities as a stringer for a small British news service.
In this lucid, affecting memoir, Fox describes her movements across Europe’s scrambled borders: unplanned trips to empty castles and ruined cathedrals, a stint in bombed-out Warsaw in the midst of the Communist election takeovers, and nights spent in apartments here and there with distant relatives, friends of friends, and in shabby pensions with little heat, each place echoing with the horrors of the war. A young woman alone, with neither a plan nor a reliable paycheck, Fox made her way with the rest of Europe as the continent rebuilt and rediscovered itself among the ruins.
Long revered as a novelist, Fox won over a new generation of readers with her previous memoir, Borrowed Finery. Now, with The Coldest Winter, she recounts another chapter of a life seemingly filled with stories—a rare, unsentimental glimpse of the world as seen by a writer at the beginning of an illustrious career.




Blackwell North Amer
In 1946, Paula Fox walked up the gangplank of a partly reconverted Liberty Ship with the classic American hope of finding experience - or perhaps salvation - in Europe. She was twenty-two years old, and would spend the next year moving among the ruins of London, Warsaw, Paris, Prague, Madrid, and other cities as a stringer for a small British news service.
In this memoir, Fox describes her movements across Europe's scrambled borders: unplanned trips to empty castles and ruined cathedrals; a stint in bombed-out Warsaw in the midst of the Communist election takeovers; nights spent in apartments here and there with distant relatives or friends of friends, and in shabby pensions with little heat, each place echoing with the horrors of the war. A young woman alone, with neither a plan nor a reliable paycheck, Fox made her way with the rest of Europe as the continent rebuilt and rediscovered itself among the ruins.
Long revered as a novelist, Fox won over a new generation of readers with Borrowed Finery, the acclaimed memoir of her childhood. Now, with The Coldest Winter, she recounts another chapter of a life seemingly filled with stories - a rare, unsentimental glimpse of the world as seen by a writer at the beginning of an illustrious career.

Baker
& Taylor

The author of Borrowed Finery describes her movements across Europe's scrambled post-war borders--trips to empty castles and ruined cathedrals, a stint in bombed out Warsaw in the midst of the Communist takeover, and nights spent in apartments with distant relatives, friends of friends, and in shabby pensions with little heat, each place echoing with the horrors of war.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, 2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805078060
0805078061
9780805070860
Characteristics: 133p. : ill

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