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A Mad Desire to Danceby Elie Wiesel
Synopses & Reviews
“Scenes from Village Life is like a symphony, its movements more impressive together than in isolation. There is, in each story, a particular chord or strain; but taken together, these chords rise and reverberate, evoking an unease so strong it’s almost a taste in the mouth . . . Scenes from Village Life is a brief collection, but its brevity is a testament to its force. You will not soon forget it.”—New York Times Book Review
Strange things are happening in Tel Ilan, a century-old pioneer village. A disgruntled retired politician complains to his daughter that he hears the sound of digging at night. Could it be their tenant, that young Arab? But then the young Arab hears the digging sounds too. And where has the mayor’s wife gone, vanished without a trace, her note saying “Don’t worry about me”?
Around the village, the veneer of new wealth—gourmet restaurants, art galleries, a winery—barely conceals the scars of war and of past generations: disused air-raid shelters, rusting farm tools, and trucks left wherever they stopped. Scenes From Village Life is a memorable novel in stories by the inimitable Amos Oz: a brilliant, unsettling glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life.
Translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange
“Finely wrought . . . Oz writes characterizations that are subtle but surgically precise, rendering this work a powerfully understated treatment of an uneasy Israeli conscience." —Publishers Weekly, starred
“Informed by everything, weighed down by nothing, this is an exquisite work of art.”—The Scotsman
A searing exploration of a man haunted by the horrors of the 20th century, "AMad Desire to Dance" is a profound look at one man's journey into the darkestinterior of the soul.
A novel in stories by acclaimed Israeli author Amos Oz.
A portrait of a fictional village, by one of the worlds most admired writers In the village of Tel Ilan, something is off kilter. An elderly man complains to his daughter that he hears the sound of digging under his house at night. Could it be his tenant, a young Arab? But then the tenant hears the mysterious digging sounds too. The mayor receives a note from his wife: "Dont worry about me." He looks all over, no sign of her. The veneer of new wealth around the villagegourmet restaurants and art galleries, a winerycannot conceal abandoned outbuildings, disused air raid shelters, rusting farm tools, and trucks left wherever they stopped. Amos Ozs novel-in-stories is a brilliant, unsettling glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life.Scenes from Village Lifeis a parable for Israel, and for all of us.
Now in paperback, Wiesel’s newest novel “reminds us, with force, that his writing is alive and strong. The master has once again found a startling freshness.”—Le Monde des Livres
A European expatriate living in New York, Doriel suffers from a profound sense of desperation and loss. His mother, a member of the Resistance, survived World War II only to die soon after in France in an accident, together with his father. Doriel was a hidden child during the war, and his knowledge of the Holocaust is largely limited to what he finds in movies, newsreels, and books. Doriel’s parents and their secrets haunt him, leaving him filled with longing but unable to experience the most basic joys in life. He plunges into an intense study of Judaism, but instead of finding solace, he comes to believe that he is possessed by a dybbuk.
Surrounded by ghosts, spurred on by demons, Doriel finally turns to Dr. Thérèse Goldschmidt, a psychoanalyst who finds herself particularly intrigued by her patient. The two enter into an uneasy relationship based on exchange: of dreams, histories, and secrets. And despite Doriel’s initial resistance, Dr. Goldschmidt helps bring him to a crossroads—and to a shocking denouement.
“In its own high-stepping yet paradoxically heart-wracking way, [Wiesel’s novel] can most assuredly be considered beautiful (almost beyond belief).”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Elie Wiesel is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction, including his best-selling memoir Night. He has been awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the rank of Grand Croix in the French Legion of Honor, and an honorary knighthood by the Queen of England. In 1986 he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1976, he has been Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University.
Table of Contents
Heirs • 1
Relations • 19
Digging • 39
Lost • 83
Waiting • 109
Strangers • 129
Singing • 153
In a faraway place at another time • 175
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