Good Living Street: The fortunes of my Viennese family (Paperback)
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From high society in Vienna to a small flat in Sydney; from patrons of the arts to refugees from the Holocaust; this is the enthralling story of three generations of women spanning a century of upheaval.
In 1900 Vienna was one of the most exciting places to live in the world. Its glamorous high society was the envy of Europe, and it was the center of an exploding arts movement that set the tone for the following century.
Tim Bonyhady's great-grandparents were leading patrons of the arts in fin de siecle Vienna: Gustav Klimt painted his great-grandmother's portrait, and the family knew many of the city's leading cultural figures.
In Good Living Street he follows the lives of three generations of women in his family in an intimate account of fraught relationships, romance, and business highs and lows. They enjoyed a lifestyle of luxury and privilege - until everything changed for families of Jewish origin like his.
In 1938, his family fled Vienna for a small flat in a harborside suburb of Sydney, taking with them the best private collection of art and design to escape the Nazis.
About the Author
Tim Bonyhady is a cultural historian and environmental lawyer at the Australian National University. His many books include the prize-winning The Colonial Earth.
"A deeply affecting portrait of a family and the way that memory is held through objects and art. It is a remarkable book." —Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes
“Bonyhady has delved deeply into his forebears’ concert books, travel logs, letters, and death certificates in an effort to reconstruct his family’s identity and, for his mother, to place ‘a value on her life that she did not.’ The result is a lucid, poignant generational tale of loss of material wealth and cultural identity that provides new perspective and insight into both Holocaust and immigration studies.” —Booklist
"Does a real service by unearthing the story of a prominent Jewish family during Vienna’s artistic flowering and the impact of WWII." —Publishers Weekly
"Political, economic and art history effectively combine with memoir to create a compelling story." —Kirkus Reviews
"Few people have heard of the Gallia family of fin de siècle Vienna, but few will forget their extraordinary story after reading Good Living Street, a richly detailed portrait of a prominent Jewish family living in Austria during a time of Jewish assimilation and affluence, in a contradictory world of rising anti-Semitism. . . . This book will give the reader a personal account of history during one of its darkest moments and the impact it had upon the survival of one very interesting family." —Jewish Book Council
"A book so rich in texture, so full of artistic and visual detail, that a whole lost central European world, and particularly its art, architecture and music, comes alive on the page." —Spectator