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Eve's Tattoo
     

Eve's Tattoo

3.0 1
by Emily Prager
 

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On her 40th birthday, Eve gets a tattoo of the number 500123 on her wrist, a copy of one Eve has seen on a nameless woman in a photograph taken at Auschwitz in 1944. A non-Jew's bizarre attempt to decipher the reasons for the Holocaust, Eve's tattoo becomes a stigma that will estrange her from her lover and the facile, fashionable world that was once her natural

Overview

On her 40th birthday, Eve gets a tattoo of the number 500123 on her wrist, a copy of one Eve has seen on a nameless woman in a photograph taken at Auschwitz in 1944. A non-Jew's bizarre attempt to decipher the reasons for the Holocaust, Eve's tattoo becomes a stigma that will estrange her from her lover and the facile, fashionable world that was once her natural habitat. "Compassionate and informed."—New York Times Book Review.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On her 40th birthday, Eve, a WASP New York magazine columnist of German descent, has the ID number of an Auschwitz victim tattooed on her arm. This number is identical to that worn by an unidentified inmate in a 1944 death-camp photograph, whom Eve calls ``Eva.'' Disturbed by her tattoo, her live-in lover, French-born filmmaker Charles, walks out; Eve then discovers that he was born Jewish and had converted to Catholicism, conflicted over his parents who were Nazi collaborators. While inventing variant life histories for Eva, Eve soon seems to split into a dual personality, holding conversations with Eva and probing such questions as why masses of German women ardently supported Hitler. Penthouse columnist and novelist Prager ( Clea and Zeus Divorce ) never satisfactorily explains Eve's obsession, which resembles a mental illness; her story, without metaphorical reverberation, is flawed. (Sept.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
The plot of this novel, the author's second, concerns a woman, Eve, who has her forearm tattooed with a serial number mimicking that of an Auschwitz victim. The tattoo is Eve's attempt to atone for her own guilt by association and to immortalize a woman she calls Eva, who died in the Holocaust. It is also a means of compelling her French-Jewish lover to confront his past and of heightening the public's awareness of Nazi crimes. While the situation may seem intriguing, poor writing and an apparent lack of revision or editing render the book almost unreadable. Character is undeveloped, dialog is unconvincing, plot is contrived, word choice is inconsistent and inappropriate, metaphors are cliched and repetitive, and forced satire is incongruously mingled with offensive didacticism. These faults are exacerbated by the pretentious protagonist, who offers unsophisticated and insipid comments in the guise of insight. N ot recommended.-- Ellen Finnie Duranceau, MIT Lib., Cambridge

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394574905
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/15/1991
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
194

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Eve's Tattoo 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a historical narrative, "Eve's Tattoo" proves itself as a witty collaboration of dark comedic satire and bittersweet romance that makes this read a delicious macabre treat. Emily Prager, in her self-acclaimed sophomore novel, beautifully highlights her uncanny ability to mesh the profound truths of the Holocaust with the richly idealistic vision present in her 1984 tale, "A Visit from the Footbinder". This spellbinding masterpiece readily displays Prager's wealth of knowledge regarding the topic through the main protagonist's journey for self-worth and intellectual discovery. Approached from a feministic vantage point, Eve, by the classic definition of a true heroine, resolves to commemorate an unnamed Auschwitz prisoner by replicating the young woman's identification number upon her wrist. As the story evolves, readers come to identify with Eve's mission of educating the citizens of New York about the horrors of the Third Reich, in which she tailors imaginative, yet factual accounts, a propos to the identity of the victim. It is this mission, however, that exposes Eve to not only wonderful discovery, but great heartache as she unravels the delicate tapestry of her closest relationships and delves deeper into her personal psyche. While the plot suffers a great deal from Prager's inability to develop the fundamental affairs that the book so wholly depends on, "Eve's Tattoo" represents a multi-tiered composition that will entrench readers in not only its historical accuracy, but the fluency with which it is written. Personally, I would award this book with a solid three star rating and recommend this as a must read for all those interested in a reflection of love, image, and lessons in history.