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The Same Embrace

Lowenthal, Michael

ISBN 10: 0525944168 / ISBN 13: 9780525944164
Published by Dutton Adult, 1998
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From SYLVESTER & ORPHANOS (HOLLYWOOD, CA, U.S.A.)

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0525944168 Dj blurbs by Edmund White & Bernard Cooper. Bookseller Inventory # 003988

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Same Embrace

Publisher: Dutton Adult

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

This moving and contemporary portrait of two brothers' estrangement and journey to reconciliation addresses the larger themes of family and sexual identity. It is the story of second-generation American Jews, identical twin brothers Jacob and Jonathan, who have chosen radically different lives. Jacob is a gay activist in Boston, while Jonathan lives the strict life of an Orthodox student at a Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Weaving together themes of sibling rivalry, assimilation, the Holocaust, and AIDS, The Same Embrace is a stunning debut novel that depicts a quintessentially American search for belonging.

Review:

The endless conflict between sameness and difference is at the heart of Michael Lowenthal's novel The Same Embrace, in which identical twins Jacob and Jonathan battle themselves and one another to become individuals even as they are inextricably linked through genes, family, and history. Empathetically close as children, the brothers begin to separate in their teen years, most decidedly by Jacob's decision to come out and Jonathan's turn to Orthodox Judaism. The conflict of brother against brother, biblical in its resonance yet filled with contemporary image and idiom, is also the grounding that allows Lowenthal to write about his main concern: how humans must create themselves as individuals while remaining part of a larger social fabric. Just as Jacob and Jonathan wrestle with one another over questions of sexuality and religion, The Same Embrace embodies two distinct and not usually conflated genres: the novel of gay identity and the Jewish family novel. Like the brothers' move towards reconciliation, one of the novel's strengths--along with its understanding of the human heart--is its ability to join these themes into a unified, extremely satisfying entirety that both moves and enlightens us. --Michael Bronski

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