Friday, August 3, 2007

"Bearing the Body"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Ehud Havazelet's Bearing the Body.

About the book, from the publisher:

Growing up, Daniel seemed like a model son: a student activist blessed with easy charm and a fluid intelligence, who believed that he was heir to a better and brighter future. When that dream faded, he drifted from his family and into a rootless life, marked by wasted possibility.

Bearing the Body begins when Daniel’s younger brother, Nathan, a medical resident in Boston, learns that Daniel has died in San Francisco. The circumstances are unclear, and the police are involved. Nathan, who suffers from chronic anger and uncontrollable compulsions, travels to New York to inform their father, Sol, of Daniel’s death. Sol is an Auschwitz survivor who has spent most of his adult energy compiling an archive of the fates of Hitler’s victims. Due in part to this obsessive research, he has lost touch with his sons. He nevertheless decides to join Nathan on a trip to the West Coast, where both men hope to learn more about Daniel’s untimely death. In San Francisco they meet Abby and her son, Ben, who were Daniel’s companions in a life that his family never knew about or shared.

A moving study of isolation and its costs, Bearing the Body is a book about history and memory, about family and loss. Most of all, it is a book about the past, which, far from receding quietly, weighs ever more heavily on those who hope to leave it behind.