Heather Morris’ The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an incredible true story of survival, dignity, integrity and love in the face of unconscionable horror. For more than 50 years, Lale Sokolov did not talk about his job in Auschwitz: scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink. It was there that Lale fell in love with Gita, and resolved that he would not only survive, but ensure that she did too. Heather Morris met Lale in 2003, just after Gita died, and he finally shared with her the secret he’d been keeping for 50 years. Join Heather in conversation with Tom Keneally, as she talks about being entrusted with Lale and Gita’s extraordinary story.
Heather Morris (International)
For several years, while working in a large public hospital in Melbourne, Heather Morris studied and wrote screenplays. In 2003, Heather was introduced to an elderly gentleman who said he ‘might just have a story worth telling’. The day she met Lale Sokolov changed both their lives, as their friendship grew and he embarked on a journey of self-scrutiny, entrusting the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her. Heather originally wrote Lale’s story as a screenplay before reshaping it into her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
Thomas Keneally (Australian)
Tom Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler's Ark, later made into the Steven Spielberg Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List. His non-fiction includes the memoir Searching For Schindler and Three Famines, an LA Times Book of the Year. His fiction includes Shame and the Captives and The Widow And Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award). His novels The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers For The Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. The People's Train was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division. He is co-author with Meg Keneally of The Soldier’s Curse and The Unmourned, the first two books in The Monsarrat Series.