WHEN TIME STOPPED, by Neumann NOTE: Meeting Online

Women's Biography
Monday, May 10, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains By Ariana Neumann Cover Image

When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains (Paperback)


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
2 on hand, as of Oct 3 9:18am

February 2020 Indie Next List

“This book is beautiful, intimate, breathtaking, and heartbreaking. It reads like a novel and yet gives a better sense of what was happening to Jewish families during the Holocaust than any history book I’ve read. I feel so invested in the Neumann family and their friends, as if I know them personally. More than anything, my takeaway from this book is the love and hope that was so clearly poured into it.”
— Gabrielle Belisle, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

Winter 2020 Reading Group Indie Next List

“This book exceeded all my expectations — an exceptional memoir! A woman cobbles together her father’s enigmatic past to build a clear picture of the progression of restrictions and brutality against Jews in WWII. An astounding revelation of anguish and grasps of hope.”
— Annette Steinmetz, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d'Alene, ID

In this astonishing story that “reads like a thriller and is so, so timely” (BuzzFeed) Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father’s past: “Like Anne Frank’s diary, it offers a story that needs to be told and heard” (Booklist, starred review).

In 1941, the first Neumann family member was taken by the Nazis, arrested in German-occupied Czechoslovakia for bathing in a stretch of river forbidden to Jews. He was transported to Auschwitz. Eighteen days later his prisoner number was entered into the morgue book.

Of thirty-four Neumann family members, twenty-five were murdered by the Nazis. One of the survivors was Hans Neumann, who, to escape the German death net, traveled to Berlin and hid in plain sight under the Gestapo’s eyes. What Hans experienced was so unspeakable that, when he built an industrial empire in Venezuela, he couldn’t bring himself to talk about it. All his daughter Ariana knew was that something terrible had happened.

When Hans died, he left Ariana a small box filled with letters, diary entries, and other memorabilia. Ten years later Ariana finally summoned the courage to have the letters translated, and she began reading. What she discovered launched her on a worldwide search that would deliver indelible portraits of a family loving, finding meaning, and trying to survive amid the worst that can be imagined.

A “beautifully told story of personal discovery” (John le Carré), When Time Stopped is an unputdownable detective story and an epic family memoir, spanning nearly ninety years and crossing oceans. Neumann brings each relative to vivid life, and this “gripping, expertly researched narrative will inspire those looking to uncover their own family histories” (Publishers Weekly).
Ariana Neumann was born and grew up in Venezuela. She previously worked as a foreign correspondent for Venezuela’s The Daily Journal and her writing has also appeared in The European. She currently lives in London with her family. When Time Stopped is her first book.
Product Details ISBN: 9781982106386
ISBN-10: 1982106387
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: November 3rd, 2020
Pages: 336
Language: English
New York Times Bestseller

An Amazon Best Books of the Year Pick

Winner of the 2020 National Jewish Book Award for Autobiography/Memoir

“The story Neumann uncovers is worthy of fiction with hairpin plot twists, daredevil acts of love and unexpected moments of humor in dark times. Given the slew of colorful characters and dramatic details, she could have turned her painstaking research into a historical novel. Instead she has written a superb family memoir that unfolds its poignant power on multiple levels. Yes, her account of one Jewish-Czech family’s race to outwit the Nazis makes for thrilling reading. But just as important is her lucid investigation of the nature of memory, identity and remembrance.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“At times the revelations are so extraordinary to modern eyes that the memoir has an almost fictional feel.”
Financial Times

“A beautifully told story of personal discovery, of almost unimaginable human bravery and sacrifice, and a harrowing portrait of living, dying, and surviving under the yoke of Nazism.”
—John le Carré, author of Agent Running in the Field

“Evocative . . . Neumann discovers her Jewish roots and pieces together the incredible, heartbreaking family history her father never told her.”
—Real Simple

“Utterly riveting: Ms. Neumann’s memoir reads like a detective novel as she unravels her late father’s complex, agonizing yet inspiring trajectory.”
—Claire Messud, author of The Emperor’s Children and The Woman Upstairs

“Elegantly structured . . . the author reconstructs with considerable literary finesse the life of her father.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Extraordinary in its reach and its depth. I felt such kinship with the way in which Ariana Neumann moved through the world. . . . Absolutely remarkable.”
—Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes

“Deeply moving . . . This gripping, expertly researched narrative will inspire those looking to uncover their own family histories.”
Publishers Weekly

“Ariana Neumann's beautiful, meticulously researched memoir is an extraordinarily moving story of a family’s lost history, a father’s well-kept secret, and a daughter who pieces it all together with courage, tenacity, and most of all, love.”
—Dani Shapiro, author of InheritanceDevotion, and Still Writing

“Profound, gripping, and gut-wrenching…This heartbreaking and unforgettable memoir belongs in every library for the important history Neumann unearths. Like Anne Frank's diary, it offers a story that needs to be told and heard.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Never in my reading life have I ever come across anything akin to this magical, brilliant, and gripping work of art.”
—Deborah Copaken, author of The Red Book

“Full of tales of courage…this meticulously researched work is unforgettable.”
—Sunday Mirror

“Extraordinary…what remains is so vast, so much more than one life brought out from the shadows: it is a daughter’s deep love and humanity towards a complex and occasionally difficult father who tried to shield her from the pain of knowing about his earlier life, but it is also the story of a whole family lovingly recreated….[When Time Stopped is] a treasure to be savored as testament of the human will to survive.”
—Anne Sebba, The Spectator

“Extraordinary… To unearth such stories takes great determination, patience and sensitivity, not least because so many of those who survived did so by suppressing the truth.”
The Guardian

“Remarkable . . . Through painstaking, meticulous research Neumann tells the true story—part memoir, part history—of her heartwrenching and ultimately life-affirming journey in uncovering her family’s long hidden past.”
—Georgia Hunter, author of We Were the Lucky Ones

“An astonishing story of survival . . . Neumann’s eloquent, skillfully researched book will appeal to many, especially those interested in family histories and the lives of Holocaust survivors.”
—Library Journal

“A love letter to a father who, out of sheer will and determination, did not allow the Nazis to destroy him . . . A classic story of redemption and love.”
—Janine di Giovanni, author of The Morning They Came for Us

“Reads like a thriller and it is so timely. The work and emotion put into [the] book is unbelievable.”

“An astonishing family memoir that will imprint itself on your psyche . . . Ariana Neumann has breached the hidden surface of her family’s tumultuous past and brought not only their tragedies and sorrows but also their joys and loves, to indelible light.”
—John Burnham Schwartz, author of The Red Daughter and Reservation Road

“A brilliantly heart-wrenching memoir . . . Neumann is a gifted, visceral writer.”
BookPage (starred review)

When Time Stopped vitally confirms our experience as survivors and carries our same message of hope: Nothing will be forgotten. All will be passed down and remembered. Thank you, Ariana Neumann, for writing this book.”
—Helena Klimova and Ivan Klíma, winner of the Franz Kafka Prize and author of My Crazy Century and Love and Garbage

“A beautifully wrought book that is both a detective story and a family history.”
The Times of Israel

“A fascinating and beautifully constructed memoir and more than that, a testimonial to the power of meticulous research and family love.”
—Caroline Moorehead, author of A Train in Winter and Village of Secrets

“A moving saga of war and the Holocaust . . . Never to be forgotten as long as such accounts remain.”

“A carefully woven, beautifully written tapestry. This is a work of resistance against oblivion, a reminder against forgetting, an investigation driven by true love.”
—Stephen D. Smith, PhD, executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation

“Occasionally there appears a book so devastating that the only response is stunned silence. . . . When Time Stopped is about the triumph of the human spirit.”
Frances Wilson, The Oldie

“[A] powerful memoir…[that] reads like a detective novel.”
Hey Alma

“Ariana Neumann has given us a gripping true story—the account of her father's determination to survive the Holocaust and the clues he left behind…This is nonfiction that reads like a detective thriller.”
—Tilar J. Mazzeo, author of Irena’s Children

“Beautifully written…One of the most powerful and profoundly moving family stories of the Holocaust to have been published in many years and a must read.”
—Dan Stone, Director of the Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London

“Compelling…brilliant…This remarkable, beautifully written book is full of sadness but it also full of great beauty and joy.”
Daily Mail

When Time Stopped is more than just history. It’s a warning.”
—Michael Palin


Women's Biography
Monday, April 12, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

Nine Continents: A Memoir in and Out of China By Xiaolu Guo Cover Image

Nine Continents: A Memoir in and Out of China (Paperback)


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography

Xiaolu Guo is one of the most acclaimed Chinese-born writers of her generation, an iconoclastic and completely contemporary voice. Her vivid, poignant memoir, Nine Continents is the story of a curious mind coming of age in an inhospitable country, and her determination to seek a life beyond the limits of its borders.

Xiaolu Guo has traveled further than most to become who she needed to be. Now, as she experiences the birth of her daughter in a London maternity ward surrounded by women from all over the world, she looks back on that journey. It begins in the fishing village shack on the East China Sea where her illiterate grandparents raised her, and brings her to a rapidly changing Beijing, full of contradictions: a thriving underground art scene amid mass censorship, curious Westerners who held out affection only to disappear back home. Eventually Xiaolu determined to see the world beyond China for herself, and now, after fifteen years in Europe, her words resonate with the insight of someone both an outsider and at home, in a world far beyond the country of her birth.

Nine Continents presents a fascinating portrait of China in the eighties and nineties, how the Cultural Revolution shaped families, and how the country's economic ambitions gave rise to great change. It is also a moving testament to the birth of a creative spirit, and of a new generation being raised to become citizens of the world. It confirms Xiaolu Guo as one of world literature's most urgent voices.

Product Details ISBN: 9780802128676
ISBN-10: 080212867X
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: November 20th, 2018
Pages: 384
Language: English


Women's Biography
Monday, March 8, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir By Samantha Power Cover Image

The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir (Paperback)


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
3 on hand, as of Oct 3 9:18am
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
1 on hand, as of Oct 3 9:33am
Politics and Prose at Union Market
2 on hand, as of Oct 3 9:34am


An intimate, powerful, and galvanizing memoir by Pulitzer Prize winner, human rights advocate, and former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Named one of the best books of the year:

The New York Times • National Public Radio • TimeThe Economist • The Washington Post • Vanity Fair • Christian Science Monitor • Publishers Weekly • Audible

“Her highly personal and reflective memoir . . . is a must-read for anyone who cares about our role in a changing world.”—President Barack Obama

Includes an updated afterword

Tracing her distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official, Samantha Power’s acclaimed memoir is a unique blend of suspenseful storytelling, vivid character portraits, and shrewd political insight. After her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of Senator Barack Obama, he invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill and then on his presidential campaign. When Obama won the presidency, Power went from being an activist outsider to serving as his human rights adviser and, in 2013, becoming the youngest-ever US Ambassador to the United Nations. Power transports us from her childhood in Dublin to the streets of war-torn Bosnia to the White House Situation Room and the world of high-stakes diplomacy, offering a compelling and deeply honest look at navigating the halls of power while trying to put one’s ideals into practice. Along the way, she lays bare the searing battles and defining moments of her life, shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7 national security job with raising two young children, and makes the case for how we each can advance the cause of human dignity. This is an unforgettable account of the power of idealism—and of one person’s fierce determination to make a difference.

“This is a wonderful book. […] The interweaving of Power’s personal story, family story, diplomatic history and moral arguments is executed seamlessly and with unblinking honesty.”—THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, The New York Times Book Review 

“Truly engrossing…A pleasure to read.”—RACHEL MADDOW

“A beautiful memoir about the times we’re living in and the questions we must ask ourselves…I honestly couldn’t put it down.” —CHERYL STRAYED, author of Wild

“Power’s compelling memoir provides critically important insights we should all understand as we face some of the most vexing issues of our time.” —BRYAN STEVENSON, author of Just Mercy

Samantha Power is a Professor of Practice at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School. From 2013-2017, Power served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s cabinet. From 2009-2013, Power served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. Power began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, and she was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School.  Power’s book, “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. She is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Chasing the Flame: One Man’s Fight to Save the World (2008) and The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir (2019), which was named one of the best books of 2019 by the New York Times, Washington Post, Economist, NPR, and TIME. Power earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. 

Product Details ISBN: 9780062820709
ISBN-10: 0062820702
Publisher: Dey Street Books
Publication Date: January 26th, 2021
Pages: 592
Language: English

“This is a wonderful book.…The interweaving of Power’s personal story, family story, diplomatic history and moral arguments is executed seamlessly—and with unblinking honesty.”
Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times Book Review

“[Power] is a very good writer, which makes it more fun and truly engrossing to read a memoir about a former U.S. official….A pleasure to read.” — Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

“Power writes movingly about everything…and she delivers one of the best-written political memoirs of recent years.” Fareed Zakaria, CNN  

“Amid the flood of memoirs from Obama administration veterans, Power’s stands out as worth reading. For starters, she’s a better writer than a lot of them—she was a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author long before she got into government. She’s also done more that’s worth reading about. Like the best journalists, Power has a gift for finding the perfect anecdote to illustrate a larger idea or theme, and this is the rare political memoir where you definitely shouldn’t skim the “early years” chapters. — Slate

“Power writes with heart about her upbringing — in Ireland, Pittsburgh and Atlanta — and she is especially poignant when recounting a few traumatic episodes… Still, the book is suffused with humor, and [President Obama] furnishes the funniest anecdotes that don’t come from her charming children…The Education of an Idealist is a moving account of how to serve righteously, or at least how to try.” — The Washington Post

“Engaging….Power’s memoir is an insider’s account of foreign-policy-making, and an intensely personal one.” — The Economist

“Lively…and strikingly personal…[Power] writes vividly and lucidly here about her turn in the international spotlight.” — Vogue

Aided by the strangely sweet love story at its core…a joyous counterpoint to the stresses of political life. . . . A fascinating read. — Vanity Fair

Refreshingly frank and self-deprecating, Power's memoir is an energizing reminder that conscience has a place in the process of shaping foreign policy. — Time

“A foreign policy guru reveals her many selves in a sweeping autobiography” — O Magazine

"Power is a master story-teller . . . a brilliant self-portrait of an outsider turned insider, who is forced to grapple with the challenges that brings, and does so honestly."  — The Independent (Ireland)

“In this gripping and revelatory memoir, Power chronicles, with vibrant precision and stunning candor, her best and worst moments navigating the obstacle courses within the White House and the UN, daunting global crises, and personal struggles. She is utterly compelling in her eye-witness accounts of violence and political standoffs and shrewdly witty in her tales about balancing diplomacy and motherhood.” — Booklist, starred review

“[Power] stresses the necessity of caring, acting, and not giving up when seeking to change people’s lives. Power’s vibrant prose, exuberant storytelling, and deep insights into human nature make for a page-turning memoir.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An illuminating and engaging account of [Power’s] journey from would-be sports journalist to award winning author, from Irish immigrant to presidential cabinet member… This engrossing memoir will appeal to informed readers and will inspire women contemplating careers in public service.” — Library Journal

“Problem solving in a complex world can challenge idealism. Samantha Power’s compelling memoir provides critically important insights we should all understand as we face some of the most vexing issues of our time.” — BRYAN STEVENSON, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy

“Samantha Power’s captivating memoir is a rare and intimate revelation of the inner workings of international diplomacy as well as a heartening beacon of a book for young women and men everywhere. Its stories of dignity, kindness, empathy, and inclusiveness are needed today as never before.” — DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize–winning author

The Education of an Idealist is that rare political memoir: startlingly honest, funny and beautifully written. — NPR

“A celebrated writer and an accomplished diplomat, Samantha Power is one of the most outspoken and important voices in world affairs today. Her absorbing, heartfelt, and remarkably candid memoir provides vivid new details about the difficult strategic questions that arose during her years in the Obama administration, and offers essential lessons to anyone aspiring to follow in her footsteps in shaping the world for the better.”   — Secretary of State MADELEINE ALBRIGHT

A beautiful memoir about the times we’re living in and the questions we must ask ourselves…I honestly couldn’t put it down. — Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

“Honest, personal, revealing. . . about the development of a young woman’s inner strength and self-knowledge.” — COLM TÓIBÍN, author of Brooklyn and Nora Webster