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Books

A moving tribute to Janusz Korczak, hero of the Warsaw ghetto

Jim Shepard’s novel The Book of Aron tells (with the bitterest black humour) the little-known story of a real-life paediatrician who devoted his life to the orphans of the Warsaw ghetto

27 June 2015

9:00 AM

27 June 2015

9:00 AM

The Book of Aron Jim Shepard

Quercus, pp.240, £14.99, ISBN: 9781784290290

‘My mother and father named me Aron, but my father said they should have named me What Have You Done, and my uncle told everyone they should have called me What Were You Thinking.’ So begins, with bitter Jewish humour, this involving book set largely in the Warsaw ghetto.

There is a hint of unnerving pastiche in this, but it is a sentence that finds an echo in the compassionate words of Jim Shepard’s hero, Janusz Korczak, in the final sentence of the book.

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