Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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David Douglas Duncan


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Follow link for an enlarged imageThe Fragile Miracle of Martin Gray (1979) / view images from this book

"Don't quit! . . . Get on with it!"
— Martin Gray

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From the book jacket text:
Martin Gray fought as a child street guerrilla against the Nazi invaders of Warsaw. Every member of his family, except for a grandmother and an uncle who were living safely in New York, died in the ghetto, or in gas chambers of Treblinka — from which he escaped. Emigrating to America after the war, he married a luminous Dutch girl, then moved to an ancient farmhouse in southern France to raise another family, while also hoping to save his failing vision. He had lost one eye in hand-to-hand combat with a German soldier. Four children arrived, three delivered without a doctor . . . "I wanted to feel their lives in those first moments of existence." One Saturday afternoon, a forest fire fed by raging winds swept around the Grays' hilltop. Dina Gray and her four children perished while attempting to flee. Martin again survived.

This is a timeless story of courage and tenacity, of a man who would never quit — who is the greatest optimist, after suffering the most grievous personal losses, of anyone I have ever known. Martin is now remarried, the father of two baby daughters. This little book is my gift to that indomitable man and his infant family, who are starting life anew on their hilltop. Perhaps, too, this book will become a source of inspiration for those who feel that they have been more deeply wounded by fate, perhaps even more neglected by their God, than anyone they know.
— D.D.D.