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The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping: A Novel Hardcover – January 31, 2017
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“As its title suggests, there is a dazed, dreamlike quality to the prose of this bildungsroman, in which a masterly English translation by Jeffrey M. Green manages to retain the direct, concrete quality of the original Hebrew as well as its austere poetry. This is particularly valuable in a novel whose subject is, in part, language and how it forms us, what it lets us see and what it obscures.”
—Geraldine Brooks, The New York Times Book Review
"Powerful and hallucinatory. . . . Haunted by loss, illuminated by hope, and richly textured with tradition, Appelfeld's narrative probes questions of history and identity, vocation and meaning in language that's deceptively simple--as luminous and lingering as poetry."
"By constantly recasting the stories he has created over a long career, Appelfeld creates a literary way of bringing his pre-Holocaust past into his Israeli present. There is no longer a need to return to Bukovina in Ukraine. There is a creative way of bringing Bukovina to the cafe in Beit Ticho in Jerusalem, where the venerable and venerated Appelfeld comes to sit and write."
“Gently tragic, intensely moving, and filled with metaphor. . . . Careful reading showcases the author’s exquisite poetic style, drawing us into Erwin’s painful experiences and his determination to form an identity that both encompasses his roots and honors what (and who) has been lost.”
—Booklist, starred review
“Appelfeld’s novel delineates the process of becoming a writer, with details incorporated from his experience as a Holocaust survivor and refugee. . . . Throughout, he focuses not on historical events or moral judgments but on the formation of a writer, one much like himself, able to transform memory into transcendent prose.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred and boxed review
“Appelfeld once again delivers with a novel of great sensitivity, finely attuned to the difficulties of responding to post-Holocaust living. . . . His style is never flashy, but the plainness of his writing gives these events both starkness and power.”
About the Author
AHARON APPELFELD is the author of more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Iron Tracks, Until the Dawn's Light (both winners of the National Jewish Book Award), The Story of a Life (winner of the Prix Médicis Étranger), and Badenheim 1939. 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. Blooms of Darkness won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2012 and was short-listed for the Man Booker International Prize in 2013. Born in Czernowitz, Bukovina (now part of Ukraine), in 1932, he died in Israel in 2018.
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There is great beauty in the simple, and sometimes awkward, ways that Erwin and the people in his life show their love for one another. For Erwin, love is stronger than death, and he loses no one, finding them again and again in the people around him and in his dreams.
Profound, courageous, and life-affirming, this is a dazzlingly beautiful story that I will not forget.