Don't Ask Me Where I Come From
How a Refugee From Nazi Germany Became a UN Correspondent

By Lili Loebl
October 2011
Book Guild
ISBN: 9781846246333
Distributed by Trans-Atlantic Publications
320 pages
$38.50 Hardcover

In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, the prosperous Jewish Loebl family flee to an England on the brink of war. Labelled enemy aliens and now penniless, they must fight to survive evacuation, bombing and internment. So begins the story of Lili’s life of exile and improvisation, an outsider’s journey of self-discovery and search for a place to call home. From humble beginnings as a charity pupil at a convent school, she goes on to study at King’s College Newcastle and the Sorbonne, where she finds her place among the international student community of 1950s Paris, a city seething with existential excitement. A graduate grappling with inherent rootlessness, she pioneers at a kibbutz in Israel, works at the epicentre of fashion in Paris and in a cotton gin in boozy Texas, before escaping to New York.

There she revels in the buzzing Harlem jazz scene and, as a reporter for Newsweek’s UN bureau at the height of the Cold War, grips the male arena of political journalism by the horns. Entering a glitzy world of cocktail parties and dinners with world leaders, she covers cutting-edge world events, from the emergence of African independence to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Told with unflinching honesty and imbued with an irresistible spirit of adventure, this gripping autobiography charts the first thirty-four years of Lili’s extraordinary life, recalling loves and losses along the away.


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