‘One Hundred Saturdays’ Review: Afternoons With Stella | Casa Italiana Zerilli / Marimò

‘One Hundred Saturdays’ Review: Afternoons With Stella

detail from Maira Kalman illustration

Never underestimate the power of friendship at any stage in life. That’s one of the lessons from Michael Frank’s beautiful portrait of the wise and charming nonagenarian, Stella Levi, one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors from the vanished Sephardic community of Juderia on the Greek island of Rhodes. In relaying her life story, Mr. Frank has pulled off something special: “One Hundred Saturdays” is a sobering yet heartening book about how friendship, remembrance, and being heard can help assuage profound dislocation and loss. It is also a reminder that the ability to listen thoughtfully is a rare and significant gift. “One Hundred Saturdays” grew out of a serendipitous encounter in 2015, when Mr. Frank arrived late for a talk about museums, memory and Nazi Fascism at Casa Italiana, home of the Department of Italian Studies at New York University. An elegant older woman seated nearby asked him in her Italian-accented English, “Where are you coming from that you’re in such a hurry?” In response to his answer—a French lesson—she told him how she first encountered French at Auschwitz, where some French and Belgian women helped her to survive. Click here to read the full article in English by Heller McAlpin.