Book by Earl, Maureen
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...in her stunning second novel, Maureen Earl has unearthed a chunk of history that works as a metaphor for both the endless diaspora of the Jews and the moral collapse that marched the league of nations into World War 11 ... Maureen Earl's account of the voyage transcends the boundaries between historical fiction and literature, elevating the novel into a work of art ... BOAT OF STONE is a large, powerful novel of truly great scope. It's as a career shaping novel, one whose effects on the reader will last as long as the survivor's memories of their perilous journey. -- Prelims, by Bob McCullough
In her powerful second novel, Maureen Earl puts a new and fascinating twist on an old story: the Holocaust as experienced by a boatload of Jewish refugees who are refused entry to Palestine. In "Boat Of Stone", they are imprisoned by the British on the tropical island of Mauritius off the eastern coast of Africa. The novel, based on a little-known true story, is immediately absorbing, largely because of Ms. Earl's fictional narrator, Hanna Sommerfield, who tells her tale of brutality and humiliation with a hypnotic blend of wit, tough-mindedness and passion. It is through Hanna's heightened perceptions that Ms Earl details a world in which the sterile mercilessness of the prison is juxtaposed against the exotic vegetation, strange creatures and intoxicating skies of the island. Hanna tells this story in a series of flashbacks, set against her experience as an elderly woman living with her son, Martin, in Haifa. From the beginning it is clear that Hanna must obsessively return to the past in order to free herself of it. Thus we see her as she struggles against memories that are much more vivid to her than the present; her escape from Austria with her husband on a doomed old riverboat; their tender, troubled marriage; the endurance of hunger and privation; the loss of loved ones; the unforseen calamities that occur in the camp. But, finally, Hanna's redemption comes through the love of her family and the knowledge that her descendants are her irrefutable triumph. Ms Earl's clean, flowing style and expert storytelling turn what could have been just another grim historical footnote into an extremely readable and ultimately moving novel." -- Cathy A. Coleman, New York Times
That "Boat Of Stone" isn't just another Holocaust story is evident from the very beginning of Maureen Earl's splendid novel. Earl has written a fictionalized account of the SS Atlantic, one of many ships filled with Jewish refugees hoping to buy their way out of the horrors of the Third Reich after the world had closed its doors to Jewish emigres. On the ship's arrival in Palestine in November 1940, a month after leaving Germany, its occupants were arrested and interned in a British penal colony on the African island of Mauritius, where they remained until August 1945. The book is less a chronicle of an historical event than it is a meditation on the ways in which world events that affect us directly combine with what belongs to us alone. The story is set in Haifa, where Earl's protagonist, Hanna Sommerfield, lives with her son and daughter-in-law. Hanna's matter-of-fact telling of the Atlantic's voyage emerges in pieces, and the harshness of the past is ameliorated by the gentler reality of her present. In describing the events of the five years at Beau Bassin, the prison on Mauritius, Hanna converses with her husband, Daniel, who died on the island before he was able to hold his son and before an accident in which Hanna lost her foot. She ponders and recounts her marriage, talks about her parents and sister who perished in concentration camps, and wonders who she and Daniel might have become under different circumstances. "It's not so bad being old," she tells him at the beginning of the book. "People don't expect me to be so polite now. That's quite a relief for me, as you can imagine." Hanna is forthright and direct about her situation and that of others, and her sense of humor is right on target. Supporting characters are equally quirky and real: Josef, encountered in a cafe; Gerda, who wears increasingly strange hats and hand sews baby clothes out of a tablecloth for Hanna's great-grandchild; the baby's absent-minded father, Eli; and her granddaughter, Lara. Hanna's got a lot to say, and she doesn't hold back. Her forthrightness both enervates and enfuriates those around her, but this book is populated with strong characters, which makes for a lot of entertaining dialog. Hanna's version of her life with Daniel is recounted in vignettes in among the business of her daily life. Hanna and Lara's visit to a past-lives-regression seminar hosted by a doctor from California dredges up more than old identities. Through her willingness to confront what befalls everyone who ages, Earl has added a much-needed dimension to our literature. -- Milwaukee Journal, by Amy Waldman
This absorbing Holocaust novel is based on a factual episode: the detention of 1580 German Jewish refugees in a British penal colony on the island of Mauritius, off Africa's east coast, after their deportation from Palestine in 1940. The story is told by a fictive survivor, Hanna Sommerfeld, a plucky, cantankerous, septuagenarian widow, now living in Israel with her lawyer son, Martin, who was born on Mauritius. Hanna's brooding husband, Daniel, did not survive the four-and-a-half-year internment, an ordeal rife with typhoid, floods and malnutrition. Shuttling between past and present, Hanna recalls their tortuous escape from Germany on an overcrowded freighter, her deep guilt over Daniel's death, and the hunger strike she led on Mauritius. Now in Haifa, she takes pride in her son and discusses the afterlife with her pregnant granddaughter Lara, who's seeing a reincarnation therapist. (In one especially moving scene, Hanna's mother, in a concentration camp in 1942, communicates telepathically with Hanna moments before she dies.) Earl ( Gulliver Quick ) interviewed survivors of the Mauritius camp in order to find in this little-known instance of cruelty a stirring tale of ultimate triumph.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.
Description du livre Permanent Press (NY), 1993. Hardcover. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire 1877946214
Description du livre Permanent Pr Pub Co, 1993. Hardcover. État : New. N° de réf. du libraire DADAX1877946214
Description du livre Permanent Press (NY). Hardcover. État : New. 1877946214 New Condition. N° de réf. du libraire NEW6.0853485
Description du livre Permanent Pr Pub Co, 1993. Hardcover. État : Brand New. first edition. edition. 254 pages. 8.75x5.75x1.00 inches. In Stock. N° de réf. du libraire 1877946214