Wednesday 8 February 2017

Zola and anti-semitism - short review of my book

A review by someone called 'Paul' - (I don't know him!) - on a site called 'Good Reads'. I think he's got what it is I was trying to write about. (But I would say that, wouldn't I!)

"When anti-semitic forces in 19th century France wrongly jailed Captain Alfred Dreyfus, novelist Émile Zola put his head above the parapet with his famous 'J'accuse' letter. Zola was found guilty of libel and sentenced to a year in prison. Instead he fled to London and Michael Rosen tells the story of Zola's time in exile. 

With fascinating insights into Zola's way of writing, complicated family life and the slowly changing political situation in France this is a warm and engaging read. The influence Zola had on socialist thinking on anti-semitism and the reaction to his novels in contemporary France and England I found particularly interesting. 

I've long been an admirer of Zola's work, and after reading this book now have a much richer understanding of Zola as a person. Also the striking modern resonances of this case make it so important to learn from this story. "