Aryeh Lev Stollman The Far Euphrates

ISBN 13: 9781573220750

The Far Euphrates

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9781573220750: The Far Euphrates
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A lonely boy's world is touched by the likes of Mr. and Mrs Henry Ford II, his rabbi father, a dying wealthy girl, twins who had both been victims of Dr. Mengele, and a Gypsy prophetess, in a story about a young man's spiritual coming-of-age. A first novel. 20,000 first printing.

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Review:

Aryeh Lev Stollman's first novel, set in early 1960s Windsor, Canada, is a deep tale of isolation, secrecy, and eventual self-acceptance. Alexander's high-strung mother worries that he spends too much time on his own, a fear that seems almost ironic in view of the family's closed circle. Her best friend, Berenice, and her husband have no children--and Alexander eventually teases out the reason: the Cantor and his twin, Hannalore, were tortured in Auschwitz by Dr. Mengele. Hannalore works across the river in Grosse Pointe, as chief housekeeper for Henry Ford II, and now keeps her religion to herself--to the point of wearing a gold cross. "She once explained to my mother and Berenice, 'When I walk down a street it is only me, old Mademoiselle Hannalore, comprends? and I am practically, deliciously invisible. A happy and contented ghost.'" In fact, none of Alexander's role models are happy, and all are burdened by the Holocaust.

The Far Euphrates is a beautiful, riddling examination of familial pain and fear and religious passion. Alexander's rabbi father uses the Bible to instruct him in language's beauties and complexity: "My father had started reading Genesis with me, slowly, in its original tongue, where the dotted vowels clustered like bees around the honeyed consonants. We read each sentence together, carefully, first in Hebrew, then in English, and finally in German." But Alexander is also aware of language's dangers and religion's rigidity. Later in the novel, following one tragic revelation too many, he has "the unpleasant feeling that even loving words are dangerous." And if words are dangerous, what about the historical and emotional reality they attempt to express? Stollman takes on large subjects in a small, heightened setting. In lesser hands, his quiet opera would descend into melodrama. Stollman doesn't even skirt that possibility.

About the Author:

Aryeh Lev Stollman grew up in Windsor, Ontario, where his father was a rabbi for forty years. Stollman studied the Talmud for two years before coming to New York City to attend Yeshiva University. After graduating from Yeshiva, Stollman chose to embark on a career in medicine, attending medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He then did his residency in radiology at Mt. Sinai Hospital and his fellowship in neuroradiology at New York University. He is currently an interventional neuroradiologist in New York City.

Stollman has had works published in Story, The Yale Review, American Short Fiction, and Tikkun, among other publications. He also has a command of German and Hebrew.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781573226974: The Far Euphrates

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ISBN 10:  1573226971 ISBN 13:  9781573226974
Publisher: Riverhead Trade, 1998
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9781573227117: The Far Euphrates 6-copy

Riverh..., 1998
Softcover

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