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Le dernier gardien d’Ellis Island por…
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Le dernier gardien d’Ellis Island (original 2014; edição 2016)

por Gaëlle Josse (Auteur)

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456566,169 (3.85)Nenhum(a)
"New York, November 3, 1954. In a few days, the immigration inspection station on Ellis Island will close its doors forever. John Mitchell, an officer of the Bureau of Immigration, is the guardian and last resident of the island. As Mitchell looks back over forty-five years as gatekeeper to America and its promise of a better life, he recalls his brief marriage to his beloved wife Liz, and is haunted by memories of a transgression involving Nella, an immigrant from Sardinia. Told is a series of poignant diary entries, this is a story of responsibility, love, fidelity, and remorse."--Back cover.… (mais)
Membro:Steph.
Título:Le dernier gardien d’Ellis Island
Autores:Gaëlle Josse (Auteur)
Informação:J'AI LU (2016), 192 pages
Coleções:Livres lus
Avaliação:***1/2
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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The Last Days of Ellis Island por GAËLLE JOSSE (2014)

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En 1954, après 62 ans d’activité, le centre d’immigration d’Ellis Island ferme ses portes. Le journal de son dernier directeur nous raconte des visages qui l’ont marqué, ses souvenirs, ses regrets, ses défaillances. Un court roman, entre références historiques et fiction romanesque, à l’écriture sobre et tendue, introspective et réflexive, sur une thématique intemporelle. ( )
  Steph. | Mar 29, 2024 |
Brief novel written in diary style (in November 1954) of the (imaginary) officer of the Bureau of Immigration on Ellis Island (in the shadow of the statue of liberty) looking back on 45 years acting as gate keeper to America, acting like a half-God on the fate of millions of immigrants.

The loss of his wife, Liz, who dies of the great influenza outbreak acting as a nurse on the island and his strange affair with Nella, the Italian wonder woman, capable of healing with her hands, who brought her mentally ill brother along, are key pivots in this memoir on the flotsam and jetsam of humanity that is dumped on New York’s shores. His brief joy as a married man is broken by the Spanish flu, and leaves him feeling guilty for having brought his beautiful wife to the island. His dealings with Nella, the Sardinian beauty, are morally ambivalent – he tries to save her brother, by trying to marry her (only way to bring in mentally retarded family members), but he performs it all in the wrong order – forcing himself on her the night before the boy kills himself, without explaining the bigger plan to her.

The novel highlights both due process, and immigrant despair. But mostly it tells of a compromised life, of someone who tries to do good, but runs into his own frailty and arduous motives. It also relates the different waves of immigrants hitting America’s shores. It won the EU prize for literature (never heard of before…). ( )
  alexbolding | Jan 2, 2024 |
Powerful story about America's welcome mat, the first "landfall", even though Ellis is an island, for hopeful immigrants and future citizens. If Goodreads had 1/2 stars, I'd give this a solid 4-1/2 ⭐ stars. ( )
  ChetBowers | Mar 10, 2021 |
Maybe my problem was I was expecting a more uplifting story about Ellis Island. Instead Josse wrote about the realities of the immigration experience. Reading the story of John Mitchell, the last supervisor and resident of the island, was interesting and I was saddened to think how much I disliked him by the end of the book. The book failed to resonate with me, perhaps it is in the translation? ( )
  brangwinn | Nov 24, 2020 |
Only 96 pages, but so powerful!

As the book opens, the Bureau of Immigrations Commissioner, John Mitchell, is preparing for the closure of the immigration inspection office on Ellis Island. In his solitude, he reflects on the 45 years he has worked there. Feeling a need to rid himself of the past, he begins writing a diary. He has nine days to exorcise the ghosts of the island’s many temporary inhabitants that haunt him. The author writes: “I am the captain of a phantom ship that has been abandoned to its ghosts.”

Through the author’s elegant writing, I could sense the emotions Miller experienced each time a new group of immigrants disembarked. “I was always moved at the thought of all these people who had risked their lives on board for a fate as yet unknown.” Miller bared his soul, revealing the struggle he went through the two times he let his personal interests override the rules of his position. “There was too much love, too much pain on those pages.”

This book makes me want to return to Ellis Island and see it this time through the eyes of John Miller. I think the author stated it beautifully in saying the Museum of Immigration now “guards the memory of all those exiles”.

I received this book from the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Nov 12, 2020 |
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"New York, November 3, 1954. In a few days, the immigration inspection station on Ellis Island will close its doors forever. John Mitchell, an officer of the Bureau of Immigration, is the guardian and last resident of the island. As Mitchell looks back over forty-five years as gatekeeper to America and its promise of a better life, he recalls his brief marriage to his beloved wife Liz, and is haunted by memories of a transgression involving Nella, an immigrant from Sardinia. Told is a series of poignant diary entries, this is a story of responsibility, love, fidelity, and remorse."--Back cover.

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