Elijah Visible

Thane Rosenbaum, Author
Thane Rosenbaum, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (205p) ISBN 978-0-312-14325-1
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-312-19865-7
Open Ebook - 205 pages - 978-1-4668-0847-8
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In ""Cattle Car Complex,"" the first of nine interlinked stories in this powerful debut collection, disaffected Manhattan lawyer Adam Posner, a lifelong insomniac and claustrophobic, is stricken with paroxysmal rage on an office elevator as he remembers how his parents, both Holocaust survivors, were transported by cattle car to concentration camps. In a subsequent story, ""The Rabbi Double-Faults,"" the Holocaust shadows 1950s Miami when a seemingly nonchalant rabbi bares his death-camp tattoo during a tennis game with the then-young Adam. Rosenbaum, himself the child of Holocaust survivors, now a law professor at Fordham, casts Adam as the central character of each of these searing tales, but in various guises, at different ages, with different sets of parents. In ""Romancing the Yohrzeit Light,"" a desperately funny story that recalls Philip Roth, Adam is a New York abstract expressionist painter courting a gentile Swedish woman; in ""An Act of Defiance,"" he is a brooding college instructor specializing in Holocaust studies who encounters his Belgian uncle, an Auschwitz survivor, exuberantly alive. With savage irony, these impassioned stories bemoan secular Jews' fragmented families and weak identification with their faith, as well as the chasm between generations that dulls recognition of the full enormity of the Holocaust. (Apr.)
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