Day after Night

Day after Night

3.6 108
by Anita Diamant
     
 

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The bestselling author of Good Harbor and The Last Days of Dogtown returns to the geography of The Red Tent and re-imagines a true event in the aftermath of World War II in an intensely dramatic, profoundly sad new novel.

In her most moving and powerful novel ever, Anita Diamant portrays richly imagined female characters in a

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Overview

The bestselling author of Good Harbor and The Last Days of Dogtown returns to the geography of The Red Tent and re-imagines a true event in the aftermath of World War II in an intensely dramatic, profoundly sad new novel.

In her most moving and powerful novel ever, Anita Diamant portrays richly imagined female characters in a haunting fictionalization of the post-Holocaust experience.

Atlit is a holding camp for "illegal" immigrants in Israel in 1945. There, about 270 men and women await their future and try to recover from their past. Diamant, with infinite compassion and understanding, tells the stories of the women gathered in this place.

Shayndel is a Polish Zionist who fought the Germans with a band of partisans. Leonie is a Parisian beauty. Tedi is Dutch, a strapping blond who wants only to forget. Zorah survived Auschwitz. Haunted by unspeakable memories and too many losses to bear, these young women, along with a stunning cast of supporting characters who work in or pass through Atlit, begin to find salvation in the bonds of friendship and shared experience, as they confront the challenge of re-creating themselves and discovering a way to live again.

Day After Night is a devastatingly beautiful novel, a story only Anita Diamant could tell, and it will make every reader weep.

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Editorial Reviews

Sarah Fay
Although each character is carefully sketched, Leonie is the most absorbing. Convinced she hasn't suffered enough, she unveils the complexities in this community of survivors, carrying Diamant's readers beyond the stark polarities of victim and perpetrator, right and wrong.
—The New York Times
Wendy Smith
Anita Diamant's new novel offers all the satisfactions found in her previous works The Red Tent and The Last Days of Dogtown: rich portraits of female friendship, unflinching acknowledgment of life's cruelty and resolute assertion of hope, enfolded in a strong story line developed in lucid prose. She ups the ante here, chronicling three months in the lives of Jewish refugees interned in Atlit, a British detention center for illegal immigrants to the Palestinian Mandate. Based on an actual event—the rescue of more than 200 detainees from Atlit in October 1945—Day After Night demonstrates the power of fiction to illuminate the souls of people battered by the forces of history.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Diamant's interpretation of the founding of Israel centers on several young women, many of them survivors of the Nazi concentration camps, attempting an escape from another camp, this one a British internment center in Palestine. Dagmara Dominczyk is good with the panoply of European accents evinced by Diamant's characters, and does an adequate job with the Hebrew and Yiddish gutturals, but some of the basics flummox her: the name of one of the book's protagonists should be pronounced SHAYN-del, not Shayn-DEL. These jarring mistakes notwithstanding, Dominczyk is adept at modulating her voice, using shifts in timber, intonation, and accent bring each of Diamant's heroines to life. A Scribner hardcover (Reviews, Jul. 6).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Diamant (The Last Days of Dogtown, 2005, etc.) tenderly portrays four women in transition, from the killing fields of Europe to the promised land of Eretz Yisrael. In August 1945, however, they're stuck in Atlit, a British detention center for illegal immigrants to the Palestinian mandate. "Not one of the women in Barrack C is 21, but all of them are orphans," the author tells us on the first page. Zorah lost her entire family in the first concentration-camp selection. Tedi spent two years hiding in the Dutch countryside, then escaped from a train bound for Auschwitz. Shayndel, a prewar Zionist, fought with the partisans. Leonie was saved from a roundup of Parisian Jews and forced into prostitution. These memories are their constant companions, but people at Atlit avoid talking about the past: "It was all about Palestine." The underground Jewish fighting force plans to break out the detainees and lead them to the kibbutzim. Meanwhile, the camp is riddled with intrigue. The Jewish cook is sleeping with the British commander to gain information, but she also happens to love him. Leonie spots an SS tattoo under the armpit of a crazed new arrival. Shayndel spars with a swaggering Jewish soldier and wonders if all the men in Palestine are this arrogant. Zorah becomes the fierce protector of a Polish gentile who rescued her Jewish employer's son and is raising him as her own. The novel climaxes with the breakout (an actual event), but the real story here is about healing, about being able to love again and to believe in the future. Diamant quietly leads us into her characters' anguish, guilt and despair, then gently shows them coming to renewed life almost in spite of themselves. A movingepilogue traces the four protagonists' paths after leaving Atlit, reminding us that their wartime ordeals and internment were "just the beginning."A warm, intensely human reckoning with unbearable sorrow and unquenchable hope. Author tour to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York and San Francisco

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743299848
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
09/08/2009
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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