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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Comedy in a Minor Key

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Comedy in a Minor Key Cover

ISBN13: 9780374126759
ISBN10: 0374126755
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"A slim, striking novel, Comedy in a Minor Key was first published in the Netherlands in 1947 and has never before appeared in an English translation. This edition coincides with the still-living author's centennial. It relates the story of Wim and Marie, a married Dutch couple, who agree to hide Nico, a Jewish perfume salesman, in their home during the Nazi occupation of Holland. That Hans Keilson knows whereof he writes — as a Jewish German doctor, he sought refuge from the Nazis during World War II in the Netherlands, where he was eventually forced into hiding and taken in by a couple to whom the book is dedicated — contributes an unsparing authenticity, a hard-won sincerity. The work is stunning in its simplicity." Yevgeniya Traps, Rain Taxi (Read the entire Rain Taxi review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A penetrating study of ordinary people resisting the Nazi occupation—and, true to its title, a dark comedy of wartime manners—Comedy in a Minor Key tells the story of Wim and Marie, a Dutch couple who first hide a Jew they know as Nico, then must dispose of his body when he dies of pneumonia. This novella, first published in 1947 and now translated into English for the first time, shows Hans Keilson at his best: deeply ironic, penetrating, sympathetic, and brilliantly modern, an heir to Joseph Roth and Franz Kafka. In 2008, when Keilson received Germanys prestigious Welt Literature Prize, the citation praised his work for exploring “the destructive impulse at work in the twentieth century, down to its deepest psychological and spiritual ramifications.”

Published to celebrate Keilsons hundredth birthday, Comedy in a Minor Key—and The Death of the Adversary, reissued in paperback—will introduce American readers to a forgotten classic author, a witness to World War II and a sophisticated storyteller whose books remain as fresh as when they first came to light.

Hans Keilson, born in Berlin in 1909, published his first novel in 1934. During World War II he joined the Dutch resistance. Later, as a psychiatist,, he pioneered the treatment of war trauma in children. He lives in Bussum, near Amsterdam.

A penetrating study of ordinary people resisting the Nazi occupation—and, true to its title, a dark comedy of wartime manners—Comedy in a Minor Key tells the story of Wim and Marie, a Dutch couple who first hide a Jew they know as Nico, then must dispose of his body when he dies of pneumonia. This novella, first published in 1947 and now translated into English for the first time, shows Hans Keilson at his best: deeply ironic, penetrating, sympathetic, and brilliantly modern, an heir to Joseph Roth and Franz Kafka. In 2008, when Keilson received Germanys prestigious Welt Literature Prize, the citation praised his work for exploring “the destructive impulse at work in the twentieth century, down to its deepest psychological and spiritual ramifications.”

Published to celebrate Keilsons hundredth birthday, Comedy in a Minor Key—and The Death of the Adversary, reissued in paperback—will introduce American readers to a forgotten classic author, a witness to World War II and a sophisticated storyteller whose books remain as fresh as when they first came to light.

“[Comedy in a Minor Keys] design is so neat, spare, and geometric that to think of it is like tapping a spoon to a crystal glass.”—Yelena Akhtiorskaya, The Forward

“What Keilson had experienced, body and soul, went into this precisely composed book, which succeeds in capturing the tragedy of countless anonymous victims alongside the grotesquerie of the individual tragic case.”—Ulrich Weinzierl, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“A brisk, engaging work of Holocaust literature that deserves to be better known.”—Brendan Driscoll, Booklist

“This first-ever English translation of Keilsons gripping 1947 novel about a Dutch couple hiding a Jewish perfume merchant in their home during WWII marks a welcome reintroduction to the authors unfortunately obscure oeuvre . . . Beautifully nuanced and moving, Keilsons tale probes the more concealed, subtle forces that annihilate the human spirit.”—Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

This novella, first published in 1947 and now translated into English for the first time, shows Hans Keilson at his best: deeply ironic, penetrating, sympathetic, and brilliantly modern, an heir to Joseph Roth and Franz Kafka.

Synopsis:

A penetrating study of ordinary people resisting the Nazi occupation—and, true to its title, a dark comedy of wartime manners—Comedy in a Minor Key tells the story of Wim and Marie, a Dutch couple who first hide a Jew they know as Nico, then must dispose of his body when he dies of pneumonia. This novella, first published in 1947 and now translated into English for the first time, shows Hans Keilson at his best: deeply ironic, penetrating, sympathetic, and brilliantly modern, an heir to Joseph Roth and Franz Kafka. In 2008, when Keilson received Germanys prestigious Welt Literature Prize, the citation praised his work for exploring “the destructive impulse at work in the twentieth century, down to its deepest psychological and spiritual ramifications.”

Published to celebrate Keilsons hundredth birthday, Comedy in a Minor Key—and The Death of the Adversary, reissued in paperback—will introduce American readers to a forgotten classic author, a witness to World War II and a sophisticated storyteller whose books remain as fresh as when they first came to light.

About the Author

Born in Germany in 1909, Hans Keilson published his first novel in 1933. During World War II he joined the Dutch resistance. Later, as a psychotherapist, he pioneered the treatment of war trauma in children. He lives with his wife in Bussum, near Amsterdam, and recently celebrated his one hundredth birthday.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Kathleen Kane, September 30, 2011 (view all comments by Kathleen Kane)
In another corner of the world,affected by WWII and the holocaust,the author provides a harrowing and heart rendering tale of of the hunted and the couple trying to provide a safe haven.Extraordinary !
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374126759
Author:
Keilson, Hans
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Translator:
Searls, Damion
Author:
Searls, Damion
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Jewish
Subject:
Black humor (Literature)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
7.5 x 5 x 0.375 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Jewish

Comedy in a Minor Key Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 144 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374126759 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "A slim, striking novel, Comedy in a Minor Key was first published in the Netherlands in 1947 and has never before appeared in an English translation. This edition coincides with the still-living author's centennial. It relates the story of Wim and Marie, a married Dutch couple, who agree to hide Nico, a Jewish perfume salesman, in their home during the Nazi occupation of Holland. That Hans Keilson knows whereof he writes — as a Jewish German doctor, he sought refuge from the Nazis during World War II in the Netherlands, where he was eventually forced into hiding and taken in by a couple to whom the book is dedicated — contributes an unsparing authenticity, a hard-won sincerity. The work is stunning in its simplicity." (Read the entire Rain Taxi review)
"Synopsis" by , This novella, first published in 1947 and now translated into English for the first time, shows Hans Keilson at his best: deeply ironic, penetrating, sympathetic, and brilliantly modern, an heir to Joseph Roth and Franz Kafka.
"Synopsis" by ,

A penetrating study of ordinary people resisting the Nazi occupation—and, true to its title, a dark comedy of wartime manners—Comedy in a Minor Key tells the story of Wim and Marie, a Dutch couple who first hide a Jew they know as Nico, then must dispose of his body when he dies of pneumonia. This novella, first published in 1947 and now translated into English for the first time, shows Hans Keilson at his best: deeply ironic, penetrating, sympathetic, and brilliantly modern, an heir to Joseph Roth and Franz Kafka. In 2008, when Keilson received Germanys prestigious Welt Literature Prize, the citation praised his work for exploring “the destructive impulse at work in the twentieth century, down to its deepest psychological and spiritual ramifications.”

Published to celebrate Keilsons hundredth birthday, Comedy in a Minor Key—and The Death of the Adversary, reissued in paperback—will introduce American readers to a forgotten classic author, a witness to World War II and a sophisticated storyteller whose books remain as fresh as when they first came to light.

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