Search - List of Books by Joseph Joffo
Joseph Joffo is a French author, born in 1931 in Paris in the 18th arrondissement. He left school at 14 with a certificat d'études (a former school leaving certificate, taken at the end of primary education) in his pocket and joined his brothers in the family's barber shop.
Total Books: 38
He is perhaps best known in France and abroad for his memoirs "Un Sac de Billes" (A Bag of Marbles), which has been translated into eighteen languages. The memoirs, published in written in a novel fashion, tell the account of Joffo as a young boy during the Holocaust. When Joseph Joffo was ten years old, his father gave him and his brother 5 000 francs each and instructions to flee Nazi-occupied Paris and, by foot, train and bus, join their brothers Henri and Albert in Menton on the Mediterranean coast, where they'd be safe. The book "A Bag of Marbles" tells of this journey.
Joseph and his twelve-year-older brother, Maurice, travel all around France by themselves. They are attempting to escape from the grasp of Hitler and his S.S. men as they infiltrate France. They travel through northern France to the de-militiarised zone in the South. The boys then spend four blissfully safe months in Menton with their brothers, Henri and Albert, before having to leave the town for Nice where their parents are waiting.
Joseph returns to Paris shortly after peace is announced in an over-crowded train. Maurice does also, although in his typical style he also takes enough cheese to make a very large profit on! They are both re-united with their family in the coiffeur - although sadly not their father who perished in a concentration camp before the end of the war.
He has also written the book "Anna et Son Orchestre" (Anna and Her Orchestra), which tells the story of Joseph's mother, from the time she is 11 years old to the time she meets Joseph Joffo's father in Paris. His novel "Baby-foot", published in 1977, follows on from "Un Sac de Billes" and describes his life in Paris following WW2 and his discovery of American values.
"La Vieille Dame de Djerba", published in 1984, was written after a Joffo met a woman called Liza at a synagogue in Djerba, an island off the coast of Tunisia. He was amazed to discover, after assuming she was a beggar and offering her money, that she knew the name of his mother and grandmother.
At the moment (2009) Joseph Joffo lives in Paris where he owns several barber's shops.
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