The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (P.S.)

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9780062277770: The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (P.S.)

Begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust, an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood.

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Review:

‘Daniel Mendelsohn has written a powerfully moving work of a 'lost' family past, reminiscent of the richly expansive prose works of Proust and the elusive texts of W.G. Sebald. A remarkable achievement.’ Joyce Carol Oates

‘Epic and personal, meditative and suspenseful, tragic and at times hilarious, “The Lost” is a wonderful book.’Jonathan Safran Foer

‘A stirring detective work in its own right, “The Lost” is set in the context of stories of the enigmatic interventions of God in human affairs, and deepened by reflections on the inescapable, incomprehensible part that chance plays in history.’ J.M.Coetzee

‘A gripping detective story, a stirring epic, a tale of ghosts and dark marvels, a thrilling display of scholarship, a meditation on the unfathomable mystery of good and evil, ‘The Lost’ is as complex and rich with meaning and story as the past it seeks to illuminate. A beautiful book, beautifully written’ Michael Chabon

‘(Mendelsohn) is a brilliant storyteller, influenced by the Greek masters he so admires, eschewing the chronological, looping forward and back, teasing the reader with hints of what the gods may have in store.’ Sunday Times

From the Back Cover:

In this rich and riveting narrative, a writer's search for the truth behind his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original epic - part memoir, part reportage, part mystery, and part scholarly detective work - that brilliantly explores the nature of time and memory, family and history.

The Lost begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust - an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939 and tantalized by the fragmentary tales of a terrible betrayal, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relative's fates. That quest eventually takes him to a dozen countries on four continents, and forces him to confront the wrenching discrepancies between the histories we live and the stories we tell. And it leads him, finally, back to the small Ukrainian town where his family's story began, and where the solution to a decades-old mystery awaits him.

Deftly moving between past and present, interweaving a world-wandering odyssey with childhood memories of a now-lost generation of immigrant Jews, and provocative ruminations on biblical texts and Jewish history, The Lost transforms the story of one family into a profound, morally searching meditation on our fragile hold on the past. Deeply personal, grippingly suspenseful, and beautifully written, this literary tour de force illuminates all that is lost, and found, in the passage of time.

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