105 pages 3 hours read

Heather Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2018

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz

  • Genre: Fiction; historical
  • Originally Published: 2018
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile HL760L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 28 chapters plus prologue and epilogue; approx. 288 pages; approx. 7 hours, 25 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: In 1942, Auschwitz prisoner Lale Sokolov falls in love with a young woman named Gita as he is forced to tattoo his fellow prisoners with numbers that replace their identities.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: The Holocaust; concentration camp environment; sexual trauma; castration; attempted sexual assault; torture; profanity

Heather Morris, Author

  • Bio: Born in New Zealand; currently resides in Australia; completed her BA in Political Science at Monash University; began her writing career as a screenwriter; met and befriended Lale Sokolov in 2003
  • Other Works: Cilka’s Journey (2019); Three Sisters (2021)
  • Awards: HarperCollins Canada Fan Choice Book of the Year (2018); Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction (2019)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Trauma
  • “To Save One Is to Save the World”
  • The Cost of Survival

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the cultural and historical contexts of the Holocaust, particularly that of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the setting for the trials and trauma suffered by Lale and Gita throughout the story.
  • Study paired texts and other brief resources to make connections via the text’s themes of Trauma, “To Save One Is to Save the World,” and The Cost of Survival.