To the Land of the Cattails

Aron Appelfeld, Author George Weidenfeld & Nicholson $14.95 (148p) ISBN 978-1-55584-007-5
In another aspect of this author's painful foreshadowing of the destiny of European Jews (The Age of Wonders, the land of the cattails is the homeland, toward which they are all struggling to return and which, like Kafka's castle, is always several leagues farther on. In fact, for Toni and her son Rudi, the journey from Vienna is so pleasant that they linger at the inns along their way, Toni's beauty and Rudi's teenage charms eliciting response from everyone. Only Toni's fear that Rudi, whose father is Christian, may resent or deny his Judaism, mars their passage homeward. When his mother develops typhus and is quarantined, Rudi starts to drink and to sleep with a girl from town. His carousing tragically delays their arrival at his grandparents' house. When at last they reach the village, Toni goes forth alone, and vanishes. Appelfeld's blend of fantasy and realism is again enormously effective in evoking the darkening shadows of the Holocaust. (October 23)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Hardcover - 211 pages - 978-1-55504-370-4
Hardcover - 211 pages - 978-1-55504-279-0
Paperback - 148 pages - 978-0-06-097115-1
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