AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 7023935501946440790.jpg
Cover image courtesy of publisher.
y separately published work icon The Zookeeper's War single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 The Zookeeper's War
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.
* Please be aware that data related to units teaching this text may not be up-to-date. Please use with caution and contact us if you plan to use AustLit teaching data in research or analysis.

Units Teaching this Work

Text Unit Name Institution Year
y separately published work icon The Zookeeper's War Steven Conte , Pymble : Fourth Estate , 2007 Z1397155 2007 single work novel (taught in 1 units)

'It is 1943 and each night in a bomb shelter beneath the Berlin Zoo an Australian woman, Vera, shelters with her German husband, Axel, the zoo's director.

'Together, Vera and Axel struggle to look after the animals through the air raids and food shortages of war. When the zoo's staff are drafted into the army, conscripted foreign workers are sent to replace them. At first Vera finds the idea of forced labour abhorrent, but gradually she realises the new workers are the zoo's only hope. Then she finds herself becoming close to one of them - a young Czech, with whom she forms an unexpected bond.

'This is a city where a foreign accent - Czech or Australian - is a constant source of suspicion, where busybodies report the names of neighbours' dinner guests to the Gestapo. As tensions mount in the closing days of the war, nothing, and no one, it seems, can be trusted.' (Back cover)

Reading Australian Writing University of Melbourne 2009
X