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Nowhere in Africa: An Autobiographical Novel

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  722 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Nowhere in Africa is the extraordinary tale of a Jewish family who flees the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya. Abandoning their once-comfortable existence in Germany, Walter Redlich, his wife Jettel, and their five-year-old daughter, Regina, each deal with the harsh realities of their new life in different ways. Attorney Walter is resigned to working the farm ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 10th 2004 by University of Wisconsin Press (first published 1995)
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Ebru Çökmez
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
film izlerken ağladığım çoktur. kitap okurkense çoğunlukla tutabilirim gözyaşlarımı.

bu kitabı okurken tutamadım. her bir an, her duygu, öyle güzel, öyle sıcak aktarılmış ki, kendimi kitap boyunca Afrika'daki sığınmacılar arasında buldum.

yanlış anlaşılmasın trajedi yüklü bir roman değil. Yazarın çocukluğuna dair bir özyaşam öyküsü ve elbette ki çocuğun bakış açısıyla anlatıldığından, zor koşullara, ebeveynlerinin hezeyanlarına rağmen mutlu ve umutlu öykülerle dolu.

İkinci dünya savaşı döneminde A
...more
Ringa S
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Knyga, kupina garsų ir kvapų, vaikystės džiaugsmų, namų ilgesio.
Labai nuoširdi ir tuo įtraukianti.
Tiems, kurie emigravo ir išsivežė kartu labai mažus vaikus arba susilaukė jų jau svečioje šalyje, ši knyga gali atverti akis, kad Jūsų namai - šalis, iš kurios išvykote, bet Jūsų vaikų - šalis, kurioje bėga jų vaikystė. Ilgėdamiesi savo šalies ir planuodami grįžti, galite atimti namus iš savo vaikų...
Vivija
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book :)
Steven Langdon
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Oscar-winning movie of the same name (Best Foreign Language Film 2002) pointed me to this excellent novel. Walter and Jettel and their daughter Regina are Jewish refugees forced by Hitler into precarious exile in rural Kenya, where they endure an often humiliating interaction with the colony's white settler community -- yet discover ongoing and deep friendships with various Kenyan Africans. This is especially true for Regina, who is soon speaking several indigenous languages as well as Swahi ...more
A Girl Has No Name
3 stars!

Nirgendwo in Afrika is a very interesting book illustrating an aspect of WWII I have not been familiar with - namely the life of European Jews forced to leave their home countries and escaping Hitler's persecution by emigrating into African countries such as Kenya. I had the feeling that Stefanie Zweig has been illustrating the conditions her families has been living under in Kenya very well, but the while her language has been very special, it has also been a little difficult to unders
...more
Javier C
Una novela que tenía bastante potencial, pero que me ha resultado algo insulsa. Los personajes apuntaban maneras, todos ellos eran interesantes, pero ninguno terminaba de "cuajar". A este libro le falta un poco de alma, le falta transmitir más pasión...
Julie
Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographical
Mitte der 1930er Jahre verloren die deutschen Juden durch die Nürnberger Gesetze Ihre Existenz und wurden zum Überleben dazu gezwungen ihre Heimat zu verlassen. Viele fanden Unterkunft in den Nachbarländern, aber viele trauten sich eine weitere Reise anzutreten, zum Beispiel nach Palästina, in die USA oder nach Afrika. Für letzteres haben sich damals die Eltern von Stefanie Zweig entschieden, was die Basis für diesen autobiografischen Roman bildet.

In dieser Geschichte wird einen oft verkannten A
...more
Robin Winter
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Zweig's memoir transgresses into the realm of the fantastic, magical time and warp-able reality. The Redlichs, a desolated Jewish family fleeing Nazi Europe, force the contrast between contexts into vibrant definition and color. Through their eyes we see confusions, conflicts of culture and country. We also see the Redlichs from the outside, through the eyes of tribesmen and ex-patriate Europeans. Owuor, the greatest friend of the family, brings a sustained note of tenderness to the tale. The sh ...more
Hortensia
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Estoy llorando, me ha encantado el libro aunque no haya terminado como a mí me hubiera gustado. A fin de cuentas al ser un libro autobiográfico, las cosas salieron bien para "la pequeña Nell".
Y creo que para siempre extrañaré a Owuor y su amor por la familia de su Bwana.
Hermosa historia a pesar de lo triste de la misma.
Petra X
This book is not so much a novel as a fictionalised account of a time in the author's life where as a little girl, fleeing Nazi Germany and their comfortable middle-class life there, she and her family ended up as non-paid farmer tenants in Kenya.

The cover of the book is an almost-perfect visual synopsis to the story.

Read it and be enchanted.
Mslogar
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So good on so many levels!!!!! But one silly question bugs me.... what happened to Martin???
Josefina Wagner
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Öylesine guzel bir anlatim ki mutlaka okuyun diyecegim bir eser.Yazarin okudugum ilk eseri önce diger Zweig le karistirdim. Tabii Stefanie ile Stefan arasindaki farki bilmeme ragmen;)
Olanlari anlatmak istemiyorum ama diyecegim tek sey burdaki Regina nin zekasi duygusalligi beni cok etkiledi. Aslinda baslarina gelen seyler o kadar zorki hayata tutunmak icin geldikleri yerin insanlari temiz saf ve iyi niyetli olmasi kesinlikle siginanlar icin ve bu o aile icin cok iyi bir durum. anlatim cok yalin
...more
Carroll
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fpl-book-club
Nowhere in Africa is the extraordinary tale of a Jewish family who flees the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya. Abandoning their once-comfortable existence in Germany, Walter Redlich, his wife Jettel, and their five-year-old daughter, Regina, each deal with the harsh realities of their new life in different ways. Attorney Walter is resigned to working the farm as a caretaker; pampered Jettel resists adjustment at every turn; while the shy yet curious Regina immediately embraces the ...more
Marsella PGlez
Diferente a todos los que he leído, es bueno abrirse paso a diferentes historias. Una autobiografía que me da otra perspectiva que no sabía sobre aquel tiempo del holocausto.
Irene Azuaje
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impresionante como las familias por salvar la vida terminan en lugares tan recónditos como lo es Kenia.
Ewa
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wunderschönes Buch - sehr lesenswert ! *.* freue mich auf Teil 2
Sabine
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-read
1938. Regina Redlich ist 6 Jahre alt, als sie mit ihrer Mutter Jettel zu ihrem Vater Walter nach Afrika flieht. Sie sind Juden und im Nazi-Deutschland nicht mehr sicher. Doch Walter und Jettel tun sich schwer als deutsche Juden im Exil, nur Regina schließt sofort Freundschaft mit den Einheimischen und lernt das afrikanische Land schätzen und lieben. Und durch die Augen seiner Tochter kann auch Walter bald erkennen, was wirklich zum Glück führt.
Keine Frage, ein berührendes Buch und gerade Anfang
...more
Sciarpina
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciarpina
In diesem Roman wird die autobiographische Geschichte der Autorin erzählt, die 1938 mit ihren Eltern nach Kenia auswanderte, um der Naziverfolgung zu entkommen. Dem 5-jährigen Mädchen gelingt es sehr gut das afrikanische Land, als die eigene Heimat zu empfinden, während es den Eltern schwer fällt, sich an das neue Leben zu gewöhnen. Mit Heimweh richten sie die Gedanken an Deutschland, wo der Rest der Familie geblieben ist und dem das Schicksal eine dunkle Zukunft aufbewahrt. Trotz aller Schwieri ...more
Jane
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
My husband loves foreign language films, and we watched the movie of this book and enjoyed it. I located the book and found it to be superficially similar, yet in emotional content very different. I recommend both the film and the book. The family flees Germany, leaving behind relatives who die under Hitler's reign. We are familiar with stories of those who managed to come to the US, but the Redlich family relocates to a farm in Kenya, where their experiences are unique to that place and time. D ...more
Sarah
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book was originally written in German and the basis for the film of the same name which won the 2002 Academy Award for best foreign language film. I saw the movie several years ago and just came across the book. There are some crucial plot point differences, but both the book and the movie are enjoyable.
In the book, a Jewish family with strong ties to their community are forced to flee under the Nazis and find refuge in the British colony of Kenya. Walter, the father, gives up a job as an a
...more
Nicole
Apr 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully written memorior by the author of her time as a child in Africa, where her Jewish German parents had to emigrate just prior to WW2. However it is not written in the first person and there is an element of detachment that perhaps gives her some clarity and honesty in the portrayl. It was easy to identify with the family characters as each brought a different perspective to the unique and unfortunate situation of becoming a refugee. The most interesting character was Owuor, the housebo ...more
Jenete Diaz
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Queda muy claro lo que significa el exilio, la añoranza de la tiloerra que te vio nacer y formarte. Me gusta como se pone de manifiesto en cada linea la cultura y el idioma de cada país y sobre todo esa parte que siempre nos ata a la tierra amada. Este libro es una poesía, un culto a la patria. Emociones, sentimientos encontrados. Me encantó.

Queda muy claro lo que significa el exilio, la añoranza de la tierra que te vio nacer y formarte. Me gusta como se pone de manifiesto en cada linea la cultu
...more
Jennifer
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is an interesting true story. Walter, a Jewish lawyer, and his wife Jettel flee Nazi Germany with their young daughter. They go to Kenya where the only job Walter can find is as a farm manager on a remote farm with no car and no electricity. Walter receives no pay for this job, and is in constant fear of losing this job and facing utter destitution with his family. For an urban, middle-class family from Germany, this is an obvious challenge.

Apart from its interesting plot, however, I though
...more
Dave
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book because I happened to pick up the DVD of this story at the library and found it a very interesting movie, then discovered that it was based on an autobiographical novel of the same title. The movie is well worth seeing, an interesting story of a Jewish family that escapes Germany in 1933 and manages to get to Kenya, where the husband finds work on an isolated farm. The story of their adaptation to the Kenyan life and people is fascinating, especially through the eyes of the youn ...more
Shannon
Jul 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Most of my bookclub did not enjoy this book, but I really really liked it. It is a translated book, originally in German, that makes the read a bit slow in terms of flowing nicely through the chapters. However, I just found it to be interesting enough that I would like to read the sequal at some point. It too was from a depressing era and although I tend to venture to more optimistic or fantasy type books, this was a great delve into two different cultures and a family trying to embrace a new cu ...more
John Benson
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
In this fictional autobiography of the author's childhood in Kenya during World War II, she brings out the story of her German Jewish family who fled the Nazis in the late 1930s and settled to farm in Kenya. Stefanie Zweig writes very well of the place, the people she became close to, and the displacement her family felt as German-speaking refugees in an English colony during this time period. As an American who grew up in East Africa, some twenty years later, I enjoyed reading a story about Eas ...more
Marie
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
This memoir-novel certainly had an interesting premise. A family flees Nazi Germany in the 1930's and ends up managing a farm in Kenya. Unfortunately, the writing is flat and some of the characters, primarily the father, are lethargic and uninspired. The young daughter is the most interesting character - I wish she was featured more prominently. This book was made into a movie in 2002, when it won an Oscar for best foreign film. I'm looking forward to see if the film is more interesting.
Champaign Public Library
I thought this was an ok book but not a great one. It is the story of a Jewish girl who moves from Germany to Kenya with her family in 1938 just before the beginning of WWII. Her family lives there for 10 years before returning to Germany. The girl ends up feeling more African than she does German but her parents are unable to shake their pasts and what they lost. The book was made into an Academy Award winning foreign film in 2002.
Kristina Hoerner
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it
I thought this was a ok book but not a great one. It is the story of a Jewish girl who moves from Germany to Kenya with her family just before the beginning of WWII in 1938. Her family lives there for 10 years before returning to Germany. The girl ends up feeling more African than she does German but her parents are unable to shake their pasts and what they lost. The book was made into an Academy Award winning foreign film in 2002.
Edith
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J'ai vu le film 2-3 fois et c'est tout récemment que j'ai découvert qu'il y avait un livre. Si on recherche le dépaysement c'est le bon livre. ça donne envie d'aller faire un tour en Afrique. J'ai particulièrement aimé la partie après la fin de la 2e guerre mondiale. Comment les juifs survivants essayaient de retrouver leurs familles. Le déchirement, l'espoir.

Ma phrase préférée : "Le premier qui part en safari garde les yeux secs."
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Zweig is best known for her autobiographical novel, Nirgendwo in Afrika (Nowhere in Africa, 1998), based on her early life in Kenya, which was filmed and won an Oscar in 2002 for "Best Foreign Film".[1] Her family, being Jewish, fled Nazi Germany, for Africa. They went from an urban life in Breslau (now Wrocław) to a farm in Kenya in 1938 when she was five. She attended an English boarding school ...more
More about Stefanie Zweig

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“Fue Oha el que respiró ruidosamente. Aunque no quería, Regina se echó a reír, ya que él no sabía nada de la magia de convertir las preocupaciones en sonidos que no revelaban nada de las cosas que sólo la propia cabeza debía saber.” 1 likes
“lo que dice la voz interior no defrauda al alma esperanzada.” 0 likes
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