The Time of the Uprooted

The Time of the Uprooted

By Elie Wiesel; David Hapgood (Translator)

Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9781400041725, 320pp.

Publication Date: August 9, 2005

From Elie Wiesel, a profoundly moving novel about the healing power of compassion.
Gamaliel Friedman is only a child when his family flees Czechoslovakia in 1939 for the relative safety of Hungary. For him, it will be the beginning of a life of rootlessness, disguise, and longing. Five years later, in desperation, Gamaliel's parents entrust him to a young Christian cabaret singer named Ilonka. With his Jewish identity hidden, he survives the war, but in 1956, to escape the stranglehold of communism, he leaves Budapest after painfully parting with Ilonka.
He settles in Vienna, then Paris, and finally, after a failed marriage, in New York, where he works as a ghostwriter, living through the lives of others. Eventually, he falls in with a group of exiles: a Spanish Civil War veteran, a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto, a victim of Stalinism, a former Israeli intelligence agent, and a rabbi a mystic whose belief in the potential for grace in everyday life powerfully counters Gamaliel's feelings of loss and dispossession. When Gamaliel is asked to help draw out an elderly, disfigured Hungarian woman who is barely able to communicate but who may be his beloved Ilonka, he begins to understand that a real life in the present is possible only if he will reconcile with his past.
Aching, unsentimental, deeply affecting, and thought-provoking, "The Time of the Uprooted" is the work of a master.

About the Author
Elie Wiesel is a Nobel Prize laureate. He is the author of "Night, Twilight, "and "Sages and Dreamers, "among many essays and novels.

Hapgood is a journalist and writer. He was a Fellow in West Africa of the Crain-endowed. He was a writer-editor for the New York Times.