His Daughter

His Daughter

by Yoram Kaniuk, Seymour Simckes

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The noted Israeli author ( Adam Resurrected ; Confessions of a Good Arab ) characteristically paints larger-than-life protagonists who chase their own demons across dense and dazzling canvases. Here, the disappearance of his daughter, Miriam, forces a retired brigadier-general, Joseph Krieger, to reassess nothing less than his entire existence. His despairing search--both hallucination and thriller--uncovers his inadequacies as father, husband and man, and crumbles the illusions that are the specious foundation of his self-knowledge and understanding. While the players are certainly emblematic of the demise of a particular type of military superhero in Israeli popular mentality, and of a nation's confrontation of its own blindnesses, this is chiefly a universal Faulkneresque treatment as represented by family disintegration. Grappling with the haunting precariousness of identity, the crippling power of self-deception and the inexorable, often ferocious ties that bind parent and child, the highly original, ambitious Kaniuk continues to deeply move and tantalize the reader with his panoply of disturbed, confused characters. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Unlike Kafka's Joseph K., Kaniuk's Joseph Krieger is a warrior, a general in the Israeli army. Both protagonists, however, are trapped in a turmoil of irrational experience, social, political, and psychological. The overheated plot fixes on the mysterious disappearance of Krieger's soldier daughter. Because the characters seem to give depositions rather than share dialogue, their testimony slackens rather than winches the tension. Neverthleless, the obsessions that envelop Krieger and the others--love and death, heroism, nationalism and antinationalism--compel interest. Above all, the true mystery of the novel, the relations between parent and child, is explored with agonizing percipience. The letters Krieger receives from his missing daughter recall the devastating letters Kafka wrote--but never sent--to his father. The novel ends in inconclusive melodrama; but portions are unforgettable.-- Arthur Waldhorn, City Coll., CUNY

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Braziller, George Inc.
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