Nathan and His Wives: A Novel

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Syracuse University Press, 2003 - Fiction - 219 pages
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Meir, the narrator of the story, is the personal servant of Nathan, a rich tycoon consumed with bizarre obsessions. The deep connection between Meir and Nathan takes its toll on the relationships each man has with the women in his life: Rina, Nathan's first wife; Rachel, Meir's wife; and Dana, Meir's lover.
Wealth makes Nathan powerful, shameless, able to satisfy his every whim - buying up priceless art and antiques, collecting women, founding a political party, purchasing an entire village in Galilee, or assembling his own team of "experts" from all over the world, among them a chess master. Why? Because he can. Wealth fuels Nathan's control over those around him, particularly the faithful Meir.
While exploring the complicated personalities of his characters, Miron C. Izakson neatly combines surreal and real elements to deal with questions of Jewish culture and beliefs. Nathan's obsession with collecting is driven by his desire to obtain a fourteenth-century manuscript written by the King of France when he was in exile in England. This record sheds light on issues about royalty and regime, exile and national identity. Meir's assistance in this pursuit is at first innocent and touching, but soon turns morbid and ironic.

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Contents

Section 1
9
Section 2
11
Section 3
13
Section 4
24
Section 5
26
Section 6
39
Section 7
56
Section 8
64
Section 15
130
Section 16
137
Section 17
143
Section 18
164
Section 19
166
Section 20
173
Section 21
187
Section 22
196

Section 9
72
Section 10
82
Section 11
93
Section 12
100
Section 13
110
Section 14
116
Section 23
211
Section 24
214
Section 25
219
Section 26
220
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

In 2000, Besty Rosenberg received the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation for her work translating Duel from the original Hebrew into English. In their review the award committee said: "Duel is quirky, compassionate and beautifully edited...Grossman deals with values that are not often discussed today. In a lively natural translation, this original book is unforgettable.

Ken Frieden is B. G. Rudolph Professor of Judaic Studies and director of the Judaic Studies Program at Syracuse University.

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