Elie Wiesel and Wayson Choy
The two pieces on Rewind today feature writers who have accomplished much in their lives- overcoming formidable odds to achieve success.
The first is Elie Wiesel. Elie Wiesel was still a teenager when he was liberated from the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945. Having lost his mother and father, and yet to be reunited with two sisters, he went to an orphanage in France, where he picked up the language that would stay with him. Fifty years later, Wiesel - whose experiences in Auschwitz became his 1960 memoir Night - still writes in French. In this 1997 conversation on CBC Radio's Writers and Company, Wiesel says he appreciates the rigour French imposes on his writing.
His novel Night has sold well over 10 million copies, a remarkable turnaround for a book that more than 15 publishers rejected in the 1950s. Night was not the first book to describe the Jewish experience during the Second World War - The Diary of Anne Frank came out in 1952 - but it was the first to describe the horrors of living in a concentration camp. "Where Anne Frank's book ends," Wiesel told the New York Times in 2008, "mine begins."
After that, Wayson Choy, the Chinese Canadian writer
with his novel the Jade Peony, which he calls a tale of survival. It tells the story of Vancouver's Chinese population in the 1930s and '40s. The interview on Rewind is from the program The Arts Tonight in 1996.