Emil and Karl
Publication Date: April 4, 2006
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Written in the form of a suspense novel, Emil & Karl draws readers into the dilemma faced by two young boys--one Jewish, the other not--when they suddenly find themselves without homes or families in Vienna on the eve of World War II. A taut, gripping page-turner, it offers a picture of life during the period and the moral challenges faced under Nazism--and a prescient glimpse of the early days of the Holocaust. Written in Yiddish, it is here translated into English for the first time.
Born in Lublin, Poland, Yankev Glatshteyn (1896-1971) was a major American Yiddish poet, novelist, and essayist. Emil and Karl is his only work for young readers.
Translator Jeffrey Shandler is professor of Yiddish Literature and Holocaust Studies at Rutgers University.
“This important book...gives a chilling portrait of a world descending into madness as experienced by two innocent children. The excellent translation effectively conveys the helplessness of the characters.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review
“It’s a clear, powerful novel that will bring today’s readers very close to what it was like to be a child under Nazi occupation. . . . The fast-moving prose is stark and immediate. . . . The translation, sixty-five years after the novel’s original publication, is nothing short of haunting.”—Booklist, Starred Review
“Like ‘The Diary of Anne Frank,’ Emil and Karl will stir adults, as well as the book’s intended audience.”—The New York Times
“Emil and Karl defies categorization. For a moment I feel as if I am in Vienna in 1940, that I am standing beside the author, watching the impossible unfold. I share his disbelief, his mute acceptance of a world turned upside down. The experience is more immediate than mere fiction, more memorable and more frightening.”—Meg Rosoff, author of How I Live Now