Starting in the Polish city of Krakow in 1890, this memoir spans
over a hundred years, four continents and five generations. Mosaic
is Diane Armstrong's moving account of her remarkable and resilient
This story begins when Daniel Baldinger divorces the wife he loves
because she cannot bear children. Believing that "a man must
have sons to say Kaddish for him when he dies," he marries
a much younger woman, and by 1913, Daniel and his second wife Lieba
have eleven children, including six sons. Armstrong has created
a richly textured portrait that follows the Baldinger children's
lives down the decades, through the terrifying years of the Holocaust,
to the present.
Mosaic is the story of the eternal dance of the generations,
the mystery of survival, and the legacy of the past. It's the story
of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances and of
one woman's journey to reclaim her heritage.
Mosaic was included by Barnes & Noble in its 'Discover
Great New Writers' programme and was selected by
Amazon.com as one of the top ten memoirs of 2001.
Mosaic has been acclaimed by Nobel Prizewinner Elie Wiesel
who wrote: 'Diane Armstrong's book is a source of delight to the
reader. Written with fervour and talent, it will capture your attention
and retain it to the last page.'
Joseph Heller, author of Catch 22 wrote: 'Mosaic
flows like a novel, which once started, is hard to put down. it
is a compelling family history of extraordinary people out against
some of the most frightening events of our century. The depth of
emotions evoked is stunning. I was thrilled and deeply moved.'
'Compulsive reading, thanks in no small part to Armstrong's ability
to bring each character to life.'
'A stirring and powerful tapestry into which she has masterfully
interwoven the story of her family with the enormity of the Holocaust,
commuting fluently between the individual and the historical, the
particular and the universal.'
AUSTRALIAN JEWISH NEWS
'Her rich account of lives good and bad, love, joy, bravery, greed,
and bitterness is a testament to the human spirit. Armstrong's stories
will bring smiles and tears.'
'It is no small achievement and it bristles with life ... Mosaic
is a work of many levels. But ultimately it succeeds because most
of its characters demonstrate how the human spirit can soar way,
way above adversity.'
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
'A most remarkable book about one family's experience ... a rich
and compelling history history ... Just as A.B. Facey's A Fortunate
Life and Sally Morgan's My Place have become part of
the national literary heritage, so too has Mosaic earned
its place in our social dialogue as part of our cultural tapestry."
'A haunting Holocaust history that deserves shelf space alongside
Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel. Diane Armstrong's work is a monumental
accomplishment - both accessible enough and powerful enough to linger
in our consciousness long after we have turned the last page.'
BARNES & NOBLE
'Mosaic has the epic sweep and emotional depth of a 19th
Century novel. Her skillful blending of vibrant individual voices
across the generations makes this memoir a touching tribute to the
healing powers of storytelling as well as to the unquenchable human
'A homage to Armstrong's family and a moving and poignant celebration
'A vivid, heartwarming, family memoir. The plot and her characters
move along in a fast-paced, tightly-woven narrative.'
Awards and Nominations:
Mosaic was shortlisted in the Victorian Premier's Literary
Award for Non-Fiction, and in the National Biography Awards.
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