Books: Roots

THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM

"Each land shall be full of you and each sea; and every one shall be incensed at your customs." So the Apocrypha prophesies, and so Marek Halter's enormous novel echoes with the unfurling of Jewish history from the sacking of Jerusalem to the anguish of the Warsaw ghetto.

Following the fortunes of one family for nearly two millenniums requires an epic of biblical dimension. In another writer's hands such a project might seem an unholy wedding of hubris and chutzpah. But Halter is an extraordinary contributor to the post-Holocaust literature of lament. The author is the son, grandson and greatgrandson of...

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