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Nicole Krauss has been hailed by the New York Times as "one of America's most important novelists." She is the author of the international bestseller Great House, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Man Walks Into a Room. Her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages.
A boy in Poland falls in love and writes a book when World War II arrives, and both the love and the book are lost. Leo Gursky, now in his eighties and living in New York City, struggles to be noticed each day so that people will know he has not yet died. Meanwhile, 14-year-old Alma Singer wants her brother to be normal and her mother to be happy again after the death of Alma's father. In a quest for the story behind her name, Alma and Leo find each other, and Leo learns that the book he wrote so long ago has not been lost. Krauss (Man Walks into a Room) develops the story beautifully, incrementally revealing details to expose more and more of the mystery behind Leo's book, The History of Love. At the end, some uncertainty remains about a few of the characters, but it does not matter because the important connections between them are made. Recommended for literary fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/05.]-Sarah Conrad Weisman, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"Nicole Krauss's gripping new voice doesn't work its way into the pantheon of American voices: it literally walks straight up to them and asks them to move over." -- Andre Aciman "It restores your faith in fiction. It restores all sorts of faith." -- Ali Smith "Big, bold, twist-your-heart sad, kick-your-heels joyful-Nicole Krauss's brilliant novel is as deep and multifaceted as love itself." -- Marie Claire "A significant novel, genuinely one of the year's best. Emotionally wrenching yet intellectually rigorous, idea-driven but with indelible characters and true suspense." -- New York "It's the sort of book that makes life bearable after all." -- Miami Herald "One of the most passionate vindications of the written word in recent fiction. It takes one's breath away." -- Spectator "Krauss writes like an angel." -- Guardian "At least as heartbreaking as it is hilarious." -- Washington Post "Vertiginously exciting...Beyond the vigorous whiplash that keeps The History of Love moving (and keeps its reader off balance until a stunning finale), this novel is tightly packed with ingenious asides...Even at their most oddball, these flourishes reflect the deep, surprising wisdom that gives this novel its ultimate heft." -- Janet Maslin - New York Times
The last words of this haunting novel resonate like a pealing bell. "He fell in love. It was his life." This is the unofficial obituary of octogenarian Leo Gursky, a character whose mordant wit, gallows humor and searching heart create an unforgettable portrait. Born in Poland and a WWII refugee in New York, Leo has become invisible to the world. When he leaves his tiny apartment, he deliberately draws attention to himself to be sure he exists. What's really missing in his life is the woman he has always loved, the son who doesn't know that Leo is his father, and his lost novel, called The History of Love, which, unbeknownst to Leo, was published years ago in Chile under a different man's name. Another family in New York has also been truncated by loss. Teenager Alma Singer, who was named after the heroine of The History of Love, is trying to ease the loneliness of her widowed mother, Charlotte. When a stranger asks Charlotte to translate The History of Love from Spanish for an exorbitant sum, the mysteries deepen. Krauss (Man Walks into a Room) ties these and other plot strands together with surprising twists and turns, chronicling the survival of the human spirit against all odds. Writing with tenderness about eccentric characters, she uses earthy humor to mask pain and to question the universe. Her distinctive voice is both plangent and wry, and her imagination encompasses many worlds. Agent, Bill Clegg at Burnes & Clegg. First serial to the New Yorker; BOMC, QPB and Reader's Subscription selections; author tour; film rights to Warner Brothers; audio rights to Recorded Books; foreign rights sold in 15 countries. (May 2) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.