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Primo Levi

Primo Levi was an Italian author of short stories and novels. Levi was born in Turin in 1919 and was trained as a chemist.

Arrested as a member of the antifascist resistance during World War II, he was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 and spent ten months there before the arrival of the Red Army. Out of the 650 Italian Jews in his "shipment," Levi was one of the 20 who left the camps alive. Levi's experiences in the death camp and in his subsequent travels through Eastern Europe are the subject of his two classic memoirs, If This Is A Man and The Truce (republished as Survival in Auschwitz and The Reawakening). He is also the author of two other highly praised memoirs, Moments of Reprieve and The Periodic Table. The novel If Not Now, When?, which tells the story of a band of Jewish WWII partisans wandering through Russia and Poland, won the distinguished Viareggio and Campiello prizes when it was published in Italy, and made Levi's name internationally known. His best-known short stories are The Monkey's Wrench (1978), a collection of stories about work and workers told by a narrator resembling Levi himself.

Levi retired from his position as manager of a Turin chemical factory in 1977 to devote himself full time to writing. He died in a fall, officially recorded as suicide, on April 11, 1987.

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