Street of Lost Brothers

Street of Lost Brothers

by Arnost Lustig, Jonathan Brent

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In these seven stories, Lustig ( Diamonds of the Night ) depicts the dreams and bitter misfortunes of ordinary people transformed by the Holocaust. He writes with the sharp, clear vision of a prophet, whether describing the devastated mother of a son who could not be found when the war ended and her misbegotten hope that he will one day return (``It seemed . . . that her heart beat like that of a caged bird, trembling with fear even in sleep'') or a Nazi commandant, torn between love for his feeble-minded son and the thought of dispatching the boy in ``what was called `the merciful act.' '' Lustig, who was interned in concentration camps, evokes events in the matter-of-fact way that only a survivor can (``The dental technicians had a hell of a job prying the gold teeth out of those old women,'' says one camp inmate). But he also reveals moments of transcendent beauty amid the Nazi hell. In ``Infinity,'' a cynical Jew listens to the women prisoners who sing--not a dirge for all who died before them, but music that ``marked the night with a forgotten strength, forgotten tenderness, forgotten defiance, and forgotten understanding.'' Brent is a professor of Slavic literature at Northwestern. (Jan.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
The seven new stories by a master chronicler of the Holocaust ( Indecent Dreams, LJ 6/15/88) examine the minds of both the Nazis and their victims. In ``Infinity,'' three young men at Auschwitz lie awake anticipating the rebellious nightly singing of women waiting for the gas chambers. Another story depicts a growing awareness by the camp Commandant's retarded son of what is going on and his identification with the Jewish children gassed in a van disguised as an ambulance. In another story, set in Prague on the eve of the Nazi's defeat, thoughts of a simple Czech woman concerned about the survival of her grandson are effectively juxtaposed with those of an aristocratic captain of the Wehrmacht , who for the sake of German glory brings a cruel death to both. Gripping tales of diverse encounters with Nazism, beautifully crafted and movingly told.-- Marie Bednar, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Station
Seven stories that reverberate with the haunting theme of duality/duplicity which has become the signature of the fictional work of this great Jewish-Czech emigre writer, who now teaches writing, literature, and film history at the American U. in Washington, DC. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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Northwestern University Press
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6.03(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.71(d)

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