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eBook published by NYRB LIT (New York Review Books)

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About This Book
Sixty years after fighting in Israel's War of Independence, Yoram Kaniuk tries to remember what exactly did—and did not—happen in his time as a teenage soldier in the Palmach. The result is a touchingly poignant and hauntingly beautiful memoir that the author himself considers a work of fiction, for what is memory but one's own story about the past?
 
Eschewing self-righteousness in favor of self-criticism, Kaniuk's book, winner of the 2010 Sapir Prize for Literature, is the tale of a younger man told by his older, wiser self—the self who realizes that wars are pointless, and that he and his friends, young men from good homes forming an offbeat band of brothers, were senseless to see glory in the prospect of dying young. But it is also a painful, shocking, and tragically relevant homage to the importance of bearing witness to the follies of the past, even—or especially—when they are one's own.
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Sixty years after fighting in Israel's War of Independence, Yoram Kaniuk tries to remember what exactly did—and did not—happen in his time as a teenage soldier in the Palmach. The result is a touchingly poignant and hauntingly beautiful memoir that the author himself considers a work of fiction, for what is memory but one's own story about the past?
 
Eschewing self-righteousness in favor of self-criticism, Kaniuk's book, winner of the 2010 Sapir Prize for Literature, is the tale of a younger man told by his older, wiser self—the self who realizes that wars are pointless, and that he and his friends, young men from good homes forming an offbeat band of brothers, were senseless to see glory in the prospect of dying young. But it is also a painful, shocking, and tragically relevant homage to the importance of bearing witness to the follies of the past, even—or especially—when they are one's own.
Product Details
eBook (190 pages)
Published: November 27, 2012
Publisher: New York Review Books
Imprint: NYRB LIT
ISBN: 9781590176481
Other books byYoram Kaniuk
  • Commander of the Exodus

    Commander of the Exodus
    Hailed by The New York Times as "one of the most inventive, brilliant novelists in the Western world," internationally renowned Israeli writer Yoram Kaniuk turns his hand to nonfiction to bring us his most important work yet. Commander of the Exodus animates the story of Yossi Harel, a modern-day Moses who defied the blockade of the British Mandate to deliver more than 24,000 displaced Holocaust survivors to Palestine while the rest of the world closed its doors. Of the four expeditions commanded by Harel between 1946 and 1948, the voyage of the Exodus left the deepest impression on public consciousness, quickly becoming a beacon for Zionism and a symbol to all that neither guns, cannons, nor warships could stand in the way of the human need for a home. With grace and sensitivity, Kaniuk shows the human face of history. He pays homage to the young Israeli who was motivated not by politics or personal glory, but by the pleading eyes of the orphaned children languishing on the shores of Europe. Commander of the Exodus is both an unforgettable tribute to the heroism of the dispossessed and a rich evocation of the vision and daring of a man who took it upon himself to reverse the course of history. "[Yossi Harel's] remarkable achievements have been engraved in history by the talent of Yoram Kaniuk." -- Ehud Barak, prime minister of Israel

    Adam Resurrected

    Adam Resurrected
    A Novel
    The crowning achievement of one of Israel's literary masters, Adam Resurrected remains one of the most powerful works of Holocaust fiction ever written. A former circus clown who was spared the gas chamber so that he might entertain thousands of other Jews as they marched to their deaths, Adam Stein is now the ringleader at an asylum in the Negev desert populated solely by Holocaust survivors. Alternately more brilliant than the doctors and more insane than any of the patients, Adam struggles wildly to make sense of a world in which the line between sanity and madness has been irreversibly blurred. With the biting irony of Catch-22, the intellectual vigor of Saul Bellow, and the pathos and humanity that are Kaniuk's hallmarks, Adam Resurrected offers a vision of a modern hell that devastates even as it inches toward redemption.

    The Last Jew

    The Last Jew
    A Novel
    Yoram Kaniuk has been hailed as “one of the most innovative, brilliant novelists in the Western World” (The New York Times), and The Last Jew is his exhilarating masterwork. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Last Jew is a sweeping saga that captures the troubled history and culture of an entire people through the prism of one family. From the chilling opening scene of a soldier returning home in a fog of battle trauma, the novel moves backward through time and across continents until Kaniuk has succeeded in bringing to life the twentieth century’s most unsettling legacy: the anxieties of modern Europe, which begat the Holocaust, and in turn the birth of Israel and the swirling cauldron that is the Middle East. With the unforgettable character of Ebenezer Schneerson—the eponymous last Jew—at its center, Kaniuk weaves an ingenious tapestry of Jewish identity that is alternately tragic, absurd, enigmatic, and heartbreaking.

    Life on Sandpaper

    Life on Sandpaper
    A whirlwind of art, music, and lust, Life on Sandpaper is Yoram Kaniuk’s overwhelming autobiographical novel detailing his years as a young painter in the New York of the ‘50s. Wounded and alienated, a war veteran at the age of nineteen, Kaniuk arrives in Greenwich Village at its peak period of artistic creativity, and finds his way among such giants as Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Willem de Kooning, and Frank Sinatra. In terse prose, inspired by the associative and breathless drive of bebop, Kaniuk’s memories race between the ecstatic devotion of his beloved Harlem jazz clubs, through the ideological spats of the dying Yiddish world of the Lower East Side, to the volcanic gush of passion, pain, art, dance, alcohol, and drugs that was Greenwich Village. Kaniuk’s stories roll and tumble here with hypnotic urgency, as if this were his last opportunity to remember, and tell, before all is obliterated.

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