No One Is Here Except All of Us

By Ramona Ausubel
(Riverhead Books, Paperback, 9781594486494, 410pp.)

Publication Date: February 5, 2013

List Price: $16.00*
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Description
In 1939, the families in a remote Jewish village in Romania feel the war close in on them. Their tribe has moved and escaped for thousands of years- across oceans, deserts, and mountains-but now, it seems, there is nowhere else to go. Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless. At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger who has washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world: deny any relationship with the known and start over from scratch. Destiny is unwritten. Time and history are forgotten. Jobs, husbands, a child, are reassigned. And for years, there is boundless hope.
But the real world continues to unfold alongside the imagined one, eventually overtaking it, and soon our narrator-the girl, grown into a young mother-must flee her village, move from one world to the next, to find her husband and save her children, and propel them toward a real and hopeful future. A beguiling, imaginative, inspiring story about the bigness of being alive as an individual, as a member of a tribe, and as a participant in history, "No One Is Here Except All Of Us" explores how we use storytelling to survive and shape our own truths. It marks the arrival of a major new literary talent.



About the Author
Ramona Ausubel is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of the novel "No One Is Here Except All of Us "and the short story collection A Guide to Being Born. Her work has been published in "The New Yorker", "One Story", "The Paris Review Daily", "Best American Fantasy", and elsewhere, and has received special mentions in "The Best American Short Stories "and "The Best American Nonrequired Reading". She has been longlisted for The Frank O'Connor Short Story Prize, and a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions award and the Pushcart Prize.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. In the opening of the novel, Lena tells Chaya in her letter, “Maybe, when the world began, everything had been clean and pure.” When the villagers start their world over, does the world begin “clean and pure,” or are the seeds of its destruction built into its founding?

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