By Lorraine de Meaux, translated from the French by Steven Rendall
Publication October 2019
In 1857 the Gunzburgs arrived in Paris from Russia with their large family, a retinue of business staff and extensive domestic help: personal assistants, secretaries, tutors, wet-nurses and nannies, coachmen, ladies' companions, valets and maids, and even a kosher cook.
For the Gunzburgs were practising Jews who observed every religious law whilst also launching themselves into Parisian high society. Napoleon III was on a mission to modernise France and the Gunzburgs were quick to avail themselves of opportunities that were opening up – particularly in banking. The family fortunes prospered through hard work, foresight and marriage. Soon the family was playing a leading role in the Jewish communities of both Russia and France, alongside their contemporaries and relatives: the Ephrussis, the Rothschilds, the Brodskys, the Camondos and the Sassoons.
The family lived through the tumultuous events of the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 and, when personal tragedy struck, they returned their base back to Russia. There they worked tirelessly to develop their business interests and to improve the living conditions of Jews, but setbacks abounded: the advent of Alexander III, pogroms and the revolutions of 1905 and later of 1917. The outbreak of the First and Second World Wars saw some of the family once again on the road as refugees, while others fought in the Allied armies and in the Resistance in France.
In this lively and far-ranging family biography, Lorraine de Meaux discovers lost archives, letters, documents and paintings in her quest to piece together the little-known story of the Gunzburgs.
Remembering Anne Frank on what would have been her 90th birthday.
12 June 2019
The perceptive, edgy, witty stories and essays in her Tales from the Secret Annexe are an essential companion to her Diary.
‘You’ve known for a long time that my greatest wish is to be a journalist, and later on, a famous writer. We’ll have to wait and see if these grand illusions (or delusions!) will ever come true, but till now I’ve had no lack of topics. In any case, after the war I’d like to publish a book called The Secret Annexe.’
Recent translation rights sold
When the Grey Beetles Took Over Baghdad
by Mona Yahia
Arabic language rights sold to Mesopotamia Publishers, Baghdad.
Publication 20 September 2018
The memoir of Alice Shalvi, a pioneer in advancing the status of women in Israel and in religious girls' education. Well known as a public speaker and a social activist, Shalvi's contribution to Jewish education, to Israeli culture and to Jewish feminism has been widely recognized.
"Alice Shalvi is one of the few women in the world who lived through a world devastated by fascism, and advanced a democracy in which people are linked, not ranked. Reading about her past will inspire our future."
"Alice Shalvi - feminist leader, seeker of justice, proponent of peace, innovative educator and one of Israel's most admired women - reflects poignantly on her personal and public odyssey in a book that blends her own challenges, achievements and failures with those of Israel during the past seventy years."
“Professor Alice Shalvi - scholar, educator, and heroic activist, tells the story of her life in a simple, almost matter-of-fact manner, as though each stage of her very rich and varied career simply flowed most naturally the one from the other. There is in this kind of presentation an underlying tone of modesty, one which downplays the struggles, the persistence and enormous energy which resulted in her massive achievements in the areas of social activism and feminism. This energy tempered with such modesty resonates as an undercurrent throughout this classic autobiography."
Publication 4 October 2018
Is Jerusalem the centre of the world or the place where it will end?
For the people of this novel set around 1960 in the divided city, it is the end. There is no way out. In front of them lies the border and no man’s land; behind lies a nondescript little town and the road they won’t take away to normality and the sea.
“Masterfully written… Coming Soon: The Flood reads like a love story for one of the world’s most historically violent and contested cities… a rare gem and a must-read.”
“It is as if T.S. Eliot’s Waste Land had come to 1960s Jerusalem…memorable, contemporary fiction at its best”
David Herman, The Jewish Chronicle
"Jagendorf handles the material with astonishing finesse, balancing the playfulness with a delicate and sensuous world of touch and smell, evoking a fragile world threatened by sorrows that cannot be forgotten."
James Hopkins, The Guardian, on Wolfy and the Strudelbakers
Clive Sinclair (1948 - 2018)
'Clive Sinclair was one of the unsung heroes. That is, he was sung but he wasn't sung enough. His own voice, incisive but playful, cracking with humour, subversion and perception, was one of the most distinctive voices of his generation.'