'Open Heart' by Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, underwent emergency open-heart surgery two years ago at age 82 after doctors discovered he had five blocked arteries. For three days, physicians didn't know whether he would live.

In 1944, when Wiesel was 15, he had been deported with his family to Auschwitz; his mother, father and youngest sister perished in the ensuing events. He wrote about the experience in "Night," first published in English in 1960, and since then it has been translated into more than 30 languages and read by millions. A landmark book, it changed the way the world thought about genocide.

In "Open Heart," Wiesel triumphed. The result is a slender volume, to sit on the bookshelf with "Night." In it, Wiesel ruminates on the power of memory and hope.

"I belong to a generation that has often felt abandoned by God and betrayed by mankind," he writes. "And yet, I believe that we must not give up on either. … We must choose between the violence of adults and the smiles of children, between the ugliness of hate and the will to oppose it."

'Open Heart'

By Elie Wiesel

Knopf, 79 pages, $20

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