- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Schocken; First Edition edition (October 11, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805241795
- ISBN-13: 978-0805241792
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,382,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Until the Dawn's Light: A Novel Hardcover – October 11, 2011
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“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.”
“Distinguished fiction by one of Israel’s most prominent novelists. . . . A beautiful and affecting novel, Tolstoyan in its compassion for humanity.”
“An affecting tale [and a] graceful narrative.”
“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.”
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.
Top Customer Reviews
I have never read so compelling, and so very Jewish, a book. I am still emotionally reeling from its effect. I recommend this book to those who do not mind having their verities questioned and their premises challenged. It is a tragic masterpiece.
Blanca who is in her mid-twenties and her son Otto who is four travel to northern Austria without Blanca’s husband. The book does not reveal why she took the trip until near the end. Her name ironically and tragically probably signifies “a nobody.” The book’s title “Until the Dawn’s Light” may imply that the evil will continue until after death, when a new dawn’s light shines. She decides to write her life story.
She had been a superior student in high school, even in mathematics and Latin. Her teachers, Klein and Weiss, both Jews by birth who had converted to Christianity but did not change their names, wanted her to continue her studies for with her grads she would secure a scholarship in a prestigious university. But during her high school years Blanca became fascinated by a tall, handsome, well-liked, strong Christian boy who was failing in mathematics and Latin. Blanca tried to tutor him but the boy, Adolf, was incapable of learning. He blamed it on the two teachers who he called the Jews, even though they had converted to Christianity, and he swore revenge.
Blanca and Adolf marry after Blanca converts to Christianity. Her mother and father are not opposed, for they are non-religious secularized Jews. Blanca’s father had wanted to convert as a youngster, but his mother made him promise not to do so. He still feels that he should have converted for his friends who did so had good jobs and were successful, but he is not. Blanca’s mother was not stable and spent time in a sanitarium.Read more ›