Street of Lost Brothers

Arnost Lustig, Author, Jonathan Brent, Foreword by Northwestern University Press $32.95 (207p) ISBN 978-0-8101-0959-9
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.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 207 pages - 978-0-8101-0960-5
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