“Appelfeld, Israel’s greatest living writer, retains his capacity for wonder. . . . [And] this capacity for wonder, for the openness to enchantment within the world, is a gift.”
—Leslie Epstein, Tablet
“Appelfeld’s new book possesses all the ferocious agony of his other works, perhaps even more so. "
—Elaine Margolin, The Jerusalem Post
“Throughout his impressive oeuvre, one senses that Appelfeld is not mining his imagination to concoct tragic stories—rather, he is simply retelling the story of his life as a child survivor of the Holocaust.”
—Shoshana Olidort, The Forward
“In Appelfeld’s characteristic manner—that is, with a deftness that allows single words to suggest volumes of emotional complication—he draws us into this young mother’s story. . . . Through one woman’s isolation, struggle and eventual release—cataclysmic though it turns out to be—we feel the losses of an entire nation, and the terrible costs of its triumphs. [A] remarkable novel . . . masterly and finely wrought.”
—Julie Orringer, The New York Times Book Review
"Tragic heroine Blanca will remind readers of Hardy’s luckless Tess, for Blanca’s essential decency and self-sacrificing attempts to do right end, fatefully and inexorably, in suffering. . . . As she tries to outrun her past, Blanca faithfully records her own history and surveys the loss of faith among Austrian Jews; with this, the story of one woman’s misfortune takes on the magnitude of history. . . . Compelling.”—Publishers Weekly
“Distinguished fiction by one of Israel’s most prominent novelists. . . . A beautiful and affecting novel, Tolstoyan in its compassion for humanity.”—Kirkus Reviews
“An affecting tale [and a] graceful narrative.”—Booklist
“A worthy addition to the oeuvre of an acknowledged master of the plight of Europe’s Jews before and during the Holocaust. Appelfeld makes every word count as he hauntingly depicts the tragedy of the human condition.”—Library Journal
About the Author
Aharon Appelfeld is the author of more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Badenheim 1939, Tzili, The Iron Tracks (winner of the National Jewish Book Award), and The Story of a Life (winner of the Prix Médicis Étranger). Other honors he has received include the Giovanni Boccaccio Literary Prize, the Nelly Sachs Prize, the Israel Prize, the Bialik Prize, and the MLA Commonwealth Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received honorary degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and Yeshiva University. Born in Czernowitz, Bukovina (now part of Ukraine), in 1932, he lives in Israel.