cover image Periodic Table

Periodic Table

Primo Levi. Schocken Books Inc, $10 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8052-0811-5

This curious memoir by an Italian Jew who came of age under Mussolini is organized by the periodic table of the elementschapter titles range from Argon to Zinc. Levi portrays himself as a young, aspiring chemist eager to fathom nature's secrets. The sections describing his ordeal in a detention camp, awaiting deportation to Auschwitz, are the most vivid. PW called this an ""odd, haunting book.'' (March)