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Zelitch, Simone

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ISBN 10: 0399146598 / ISBN 13: 9780399146596
Edité par Putnam, 2000
Etat : Fine Couverture rigide
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First Edition (first printing). The second novel by the author of THE CONFESSION OF JACK STRAW, the story of a Holocaust survivor who arrives in newly-formed Israel. . Fine/Fine. Signed by Zelitch on the title page. N° de réf. du libraire 4247

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : Louisa

Éditeur : Putnam

Date d'édition : 2000

Reliure : Hardcover

Etat du livre :Fine

Etat de la jaquette : Fine

Signé : Signed by Author

Edition : 1st Edition.

A propos de ce titre

Synopsis :

"I smoked my first cigarette when I was six years old.... Now where the hell can I get a cigarette?"

The year is 1949 and Nora, a prickly, strong-willed survivor of the Holocaust, has just walked off the boat in Haifa with her German daughter-in-law, Louisa. Nora expects to be met by her cousin Bela, a Zionist pioneer she has loved since they were children. But Bela fails to appear, and the women enter an absorption camp for immigrants to await an uncertain future. How will they fit into a society that does not believe in looking back? Louisa, the German, proves a genius at self-invention,in many ways the perfect Israeli. Nora, the survivor, continues to search for Bela--who may not want to be found--and responds to her new home with a cranky and ironic distance that rises like a wall of barbed wire. What is she protecting behind that wall? The past, and its secrets.

In Louisa, Simone Zelitch brings to life, with all the authority and inventive power of an old master, a story of hidden passion, broken dreams, and unexpected reconciliation. Stranded in a new land that asks them to look to the future, both women are forced to face the past and the responsibility each bears for what they have lost. Nora knows how to survive. Louisa must teach her how to forgive.


Set in Hungary and Israel after the Second World War, Louisa breathes modern life into the Old Testament. In Simone Zelitch's recasting of the Book of Ruth, a mother and her daughter-in-law--both widows--once again travel toward Israel, enduring hardship and hunger. But this time they're together in the wake of the Holocaust. Once again, the daughter-in-law, Louisa, is an alien--a German among Jews, a resilient and practical woman who finds jam for scones when no one else can, who charms enemies and authorities with her singing voice.

The story is narrated by Nora, for whom Louisa is both a blessing and a curse, a reminder of her old life. Both women loved Nora's son, Gabor, and both feel the past is their true homeland, because in the past he was alive. Shuttling back and forth between Nora's childhood, her marriage and motherhood, and the present, where she takes this strange journey with this strange girl, Louisa showcases Zelitch's storytelling gifts. Characters are loosely yet carefully drawn, and the realm of childhood is particularly vivid. Nora remembers herself as a teenager, smoking with a boy in a graveyard: "Dizzy still, heart beating fast, I stared up through the trees for a while. The sky was Prussian blue, the way it is just as the sun sets. I knew I was lying on top of a lot of dead people, and I didn't care."

Through such flashbacks, Nora's voice proves to be very strong, paving the way for a significant point-of-view problem that distracted this reader numerous times. Written in first person, the novel nevertheless takes diversions into scenes and territory Nora could not have possibly witnessed firsthand. It's as if Zelitch hasn't decided if she wants a first-person narrator or an omniscient one. For readers who find such formal problems cumbersome, Louisa could prove a difficult read. But for those hungry for new versions of the oldest stories, it's worth the trouble. --Ellen Williams

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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