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The Gray Lover

The Gray Lover Carl Friedman

Dutch writer Friedman proves herself a master of the short story in these three moving, beautifully nuanced tales, which explore Holocaust themes (as she did in her praised novels Nightfather and The Shovel and the Loom) but also branch out in new directions. In the trenchant title story, a fable set between the wars, Gershom Katz, a widowed 100-year-old Polish Jew, becomes the boarder of a wicked, greedy couple who work the old man to exhaustion. Gershom finds comfort, and genuine love, by befriending a donkey. "Holy Fire" charts the metamorphosis of an average Dutch Jewish teenager into a fanatical fundamentalist who moves to Brooklyn, joins a militant Hasidic sect and ultimately, as a settler on the West Bank, kills a Palestinian boy. Interspersed with this narrative thread is the parallel tale of the narrator, a Dutch Jewish journalist whose authoritarian, Orthodox father disowns her when she leaves home at 18. In the agonizing final story, a Dutch woman cares for her terminally ill mother, Bette, who is dying of cancer two years after she herself nursed her husband, an Auschwitz survivor, who relived the horrors of the concentration camps on his deathbed. Now Bette's impending death should draw together her three children, but they remain strangers to one another, constantly at odds and bitter about their legacy. At her funeral, one of the children intones, "We carry our separate mothers to the grave." "Bette" is both a disquieting, candid portrait of the post-Holocaust generation and a strong vision of death with dignity.

Praise for the Book: 
"Among the emerging voices of the second generation of Holocaust survivors Carl Friedman deserves the highest rank." — Robert Taylor, The Boston Globe

About the Author: 
Carl Friedman was born in 1952, the daughter of Holocaust survivors. She is the author of Nightfather (1994) and The Shovel and the Loom (1996), both published by Persea. Ms. Friedman lives in Amsterdam and is working on a new collection of short stories. 

Also Available at Persea by Carl Friedman: 
Nightfather
The Shovel and the Loom

Hardcover / $22.00 (Can $24.00) / ISBN 978-0-89255-296-2 / 176 pages / Fiction

Persea Books