And There Was Light The Extraordinary Memoir of a Blind Hero of the French Resistance in World War II

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-03-18
  • Publisher: New World Library
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The book that helped inspire Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See

An updated edition of this classic World War II memoir, chosen as one of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century, with a new photo insert and restored passages from the original French edition

When Jacques Lusseyran was an eight-year-old Parisian schoolboy, he was blinded in an accident. He finished his schooling determined to participate in the world around him. In 1941, when he was seventeen, that world was Nazi-occupied France. Lusseyran formed a resistance group with fifty-two boys and used his heightened senses to recruit the best. Eventually, Lusseyran was arrested and sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp in a transport of two thousand resistance fighters. He was one of only thirty from the transport to survive. His gripping story is one of the most powerful and insightful descriptions of living and thriving with blindness, or indeed any challenge, ever published.

Author Biography

Jacques Lusseyran (September 19, 1924 – July 27, 1971) was a blind French author and French Resistance leader. Born in Paris, he became totally blind in a school accident at the age of eight. He soon learned to adapt to being blind and maintained many close friendships. At a young age he became alarmed at the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany and decided to learn German so that he could listen to radio broadcasts and follow the rise of the Nazis. Less than a year after the German invasion of France, in the spring of 1941, at the age of seventeen, Lusseyran formed a resistance group called the Volunteers of Liberty with fifty-two other boys. Because of his ability to read people as a blind person, he was put in charge of recruitment and the group grew to over six hundred young men. The group later merged with another resistance group called Défense de la France, which published an underground newspaper that eventually achieved a circulation of 250,000.

After the war, it became one of France's most respected newspapers, France Soir. Lusseyran was arrested, along with the other leaders of the DF and spent fifteen months in the Nazis' Buchenwald concentration camp. Lusseyran was one of the thirty survivors of the two thousand French citizens who were imprisoned in Buchenwald. After the war, Lusseyran became a university professor in the U.S. and died in a car accident in France in 1971.

Table of Contents

1. Clear Water of Childhood
2. Revelation of Light
3. The Cure for Blindness
4. Running Mates and Teachers
5. My Friend Jean
6. The Visual Bind
7. The Troubled Earth
8. My Country, My War
9. The Faceless Disaster
10. The Plunge into Courage
11. The Brotherhood of Resistance
12. Our Own Defense of France
13. Betrayal and Arrest
14. The Road to Buchenwald
15. The Living and the Dead
16. My New World

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