War Story

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Riverhead Books, 2001 - Fiction - 168 pages
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War Story is a novel that has already caused heated pre-publication debate here and abroad, where rights have been sold to leading literary publishers in six countries.

What is never in dispute, though, is Gwen Edelman's power as a writer: in stark, spare language, she has created an unforgettable and passionate love affair that raises questions about morality and identity, memory and character. Is the troubled moral fiber of Joseph his human nature, or did he become who he is out of necessity, to survive the horrific circumstances placed on a Jewish boy growing up in Europe during the war?

Reminiscent of Bernhard Schlink's The Reader, War Story is about the relationship between a once-famous postwar playwright and a young aspiring writer who meet in a secondhand bookstore in New York City, and begin a love affair that takes the reader from Vienna to Amsterdam, to Palestine, Paris, and New York. Told from the perspective of Kitty during a train ride from Paris to her former lover's funeral in Amsterdam years later, it is a story of how love and sexual relationships can form our identities, nurture us, as well as harm us. As indelible as it is controversial, War Story is the stunning debut of an extraordinary talent.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A woman recalls her love for an aging author and WWII survivor, in a luminously written if unaffecting debut novel.Edelman effectively evokes the horrors of war but is less successful in establishing ... Read full review

War Story

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This novel relates aspects of the Jewish experience during World War II, from the privations of the ghetto to refuge with caring people in Amsterdam, escape to Palestine, and new life in America. It ... Read full review

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