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February's Author of the Month: CAROLINE MOOREHEAD

Saturday, Feb 01, 2020 at 4:08pm

Caroline Moorehead is the New York Times bestselling author of Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy FranceA Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France; and Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. An acclaimed biographer, Moorehead has also written for the New York Review of Books, the Guardian, the Times, and the Independent. She lives in London and Italy.

A House in the Mountains, Moorehead's latest offering, is the extraordinary story of four courageous women who helped form the Italian Resistance against the Nazis and the Fascists during the Second World War.

In the late summer of 1943, when Italy changed sides in WWII and the Germans, now their enemies, occupied the north of the country, an Italian Resistance was born. Ada, Frida, Silvia and Bianca were four young Piedmontese women who joined the Resistance, living secretively in the mountains surrounding Turin. Between 1943 and 1945, as the Allies battled their way north, thousands of men and women throughout occupied Italy rose up and fought to liberate their country from the German invaders and their Fascist collaborators. What made the partisan war all the more extraordinary was the number of women in its ranks.

The bloody civil war that ensued across the country pitted neighbour against neighbour, and brought out the best and worst in Italian society. The courage shown by the partisans was exemplary, and eventually bound them together as a coherent fighting force. And the women’s contribution was invaluable. They would prove, to themselves and to the world, what resolve, tenacity and above all exceptional courage could achieve.

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A House in the Mountains

- by Caroline Moorehead

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

The extraordinary story of four courageous women who helped form the Italian Resistance against the Nazis and the Fascists during the Second World War.


In the late summer of 1943, when Italy changed sides in WWII and the Germans, now their enemies, occupied the north of the country, an Italian Resistance was born. Ada, Frida, Silvia and Bianca were four young Piedmontese women who joined the Resistance, living secretively in the mountains surrounding Turin. They were not alone. Between 1943 and 1945, as the Allies battled their way north, thousands of men and women throughout occupied Italy rose up and fought to liberate their country from the German invaders and their Fascist collaborators. What made the partisan war all the more extraordinary was the number of women in its ranks.

The bloody civil war that ensued across the country pitted neighbour against neighbour, and brought out the best and worst in Italian society. The courage shown by the partisans was exemplary, and eventually bound them together as a coherent fighting force. And the women's contribution was invaluable--they fought, carried messages and weapons, provided safe houses, laid mines and took prisoners. Ada's house deep in the mountains became a meeting place and refuge for many of them. The death rattle of Mussolini's two decades of Fascist rule--with its corruption, greed and anti-Semitism--was unrelentingly violent and brutal, but for the partisan women it was also a time of camaraderie and equality, pride and optimism. They would prove, to themselves and to the world, what resolve, tenacity and above all exceptional courage could achieve.

Village of Secrets

- by Caroline Moorehead

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From the author of the runaway bestseller A Train in Winter comes the extraordinary story of a French village that helped save thousands, including many Jewish children, who were pursued by the Gestapo during World War II.
     High up in the mountains of the Ardèche in France lies a tiny, remote village with a huge history. During the Nazi occupation, the inhabitants of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon saved over 3,500 people from the concentration camps. There were no informers, no denunciations, and no one broke ranks. Together, the villagers held their silence, and kept persecuted people--resisters, freemasons, communists, downed allied airmen and above all Jews, many of them children and babies--from danger. During raids, the children would hide in the woods, their packs on their backs, waiting to hear the farmers' song which told them it was safe to return. This village did what no other community in France did throughout the years of occupation, and after the war Le Chambon became one of only two places in the world to be honoured by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among Nations.
     Just why and how Le Chambon and its outlying parishes came to save so many people has never been fully told. But several of the remarkable architects of the mission are still alive, as are a number of those they saved. Caroline Moorehead travelled across the world to interview these people, and searched archives that few have seen, to bring us the unforgettable testimonies of many of those involved in this extraordinary account. It is a story of courage and determination, of a small number of heroic individuals who risked their lives to save others, and of what can be done when people come together to oppose dictatorship.

A Train in Winter

- by Caroline Moorehead

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On an icy morning in Paris in January 1943, 230 French women resisters were rounded up from the Gestapo detention camps and sent on a train to Auschwitz--the only train, in the four years of German occupation, to take women of the Resistance to a death camp. The youngest was a schoolgirl of 15, the eldest a farmer's wife of 68; among them were teachers, biochemists, salesgirls, secretaries, housewives and university lecturers. Six of the women were still alive in 2010 and able to tell their stories of the great affection and camaraderie that took hold among the group. They became friends, and it was precisely this friendship that kept so many of them alive.
     Drawing on interviews with survivors and their families, on German, French and Polish archives, and on documents held by WW2 resistance organisations, A Train in Winter covers a harrowing part of history that is, ultimately, a portrait of ordinary people, of bravery and endurance, and of the particular qualities of female friendship.

Human Cargo

- by Caroline Moorehead

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A new edition of this seminal book, now with a new introduction by the author on the current crisisHow can society cope with the diaspora of the twenty-first century?

Is there a difference between 'good' asylum seekers and 'bad' economic migrants?

What happens to those whose applications are turned down?

Caroline Moorehead has visited war zones, camps and prisons from Guinea and Afghanistan to Australia and Italy. She has interviewed emigration officials and members of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees while investigating the fates of the millions of people currently displaced from their homes. Human Cargo is both a remarkable exploration into the current crisis and a celebration of the courage of ordinary people.