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Blooms of Darkness
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About the Author

AHARON APPELFELD is the author of more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Iron Tracks, Until the Dawn's Light (both winners of the National Jewish Book Award), The Story of a Life (winner of the Prix Medicis Etranger), and Badenheim 1939. Other honors he has received include the Giovanni Boccaccio Literary Prize, the Nelly Sachs Prize, the Israel Prize, the Bialik Prize, and the MLA Commonwealth Award. Blooms of Darkness won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2012 and was short-listed for the Man Booker International Prize in 2013. Born in Czernowitz, Bukovina (now part of Ukraine), in 1932, he died in Israel in 2018.

Reviews

"I love Aharon Appelfeld's Blooms of Darkness. How can this great novelist still find fresh ways of telling the terrible story of those years? There's nothing reflexive or familiar in here, each sentence is exquisitely judged; we read with the same astonishment and trepidation as if it was all happening now, and for the first time. It's so sad, and yet it's also all told through the child's appetite for life, and with unquenched curiosity and hopefulness. We inhabit those things, taking refuge as Hugo does in the bliss of the moment--because, after all, what else is there?" --Tessa Hadley, "The Year in Reading," The New Yorker "Like Anne Frank's diary--a work to which it will draw justified comparison--Blooms of Darkness, beautifully translated by Jeffrey M. Green, records a brutal process of education. . . . It is in his rendering of the border territory that Hugo and Mariana inhabit that Appelfeld reveals his compassion, his wisdom, and his restraint. . . . Majestic and humane." --The New York Times Book Review "Succeeds brilliantly as a gripping tale of Holocaust survival, but on this occasion, Appelfeld's literary imagination achieves a great deal more, creating a lyrically rendered story of adolescent sexual awakening, confusion, and love that gestures toward the painful inevitability of loss in any life. Above all, as is often the case with Appelfeld's most powerful works, Blooms of Darkness is an eloquent meditation on the resources of the mind, the consolations of memory, and the imagination under duress." --The Forward "An unadorned and heartbreaking tale of a young boy coming of age during World War II . . . Poignant and tender without being sentimental, the novel achieves its powerful emotive effects through simplicity and understatement--a beautiful read." --Kirkus Reviews, starred "A simple story that encapsulates the joy and sadness of a coming-of-age novel with the trauma of a world in the midst of destruction. The lean, spare prose does not shy away from harsh realities. . . . A powerful novel." --Publishers Weekly "Aharon Appelfeld is fiction's foremost chronicler of the Holocaust. The stories he tells, as here in Blooms of Darkness, are small, intimate, and quietly narrated and yet are transfused into searing works of art by Appelfeld's profound understanding of loss, pain, cruelty, and grief." --Philip Roth I love Aharon Appelfeld s Blooms of Darkness. How can this great novelist still find fresh ways of telling the terrible story of those years? There s nothing reflexive or familiar in here, each sentence is exquisitely judged; we read with the same astonishment and trepidation as if it was all happening now, and for the first time. It s so sad, and yet it s also all told through the child s appetite for life, and with unquenched curiosity and hopefulness. We inhabit those things, taking refuge as Hugo does in the bliss of the moment because, after all, what else is there? Tessa Hadley, The Year in Reading, The New Yorker Like Anne Frank s diary a work to which it will draw justified comparison Blooms of Darkness, beautifully translated by Jeffrey M. Green, records a brutal process of education. . . . It is in his rendering of the border territory that Hugo and Mariana inhabit that Appelfeld reveals his compassion, his wisdom, and his restraint. . . . Majestic and humane. The New York Times Book Review Succeeds brilliantly as a gripping tale of Holocaust survival, but on this occasion, Appelfeld s literary imagination achieves a great deal more, creating a lyrically rendered story of adolescent sexual awakening, confusion, and love that gestures toward the painful inevitability of loss in any life. Above all, as is often the case with Appelfeld s most powerful works, Blooms of Darkness is an eloquent meditation on the resources of the mind, the consolations of memory, and the imagination under duress. The Forward An unadorned and heartbreaking tale of a young boy coming of age during World War II . . . Poignant and tender without being sentimental, the novel achieves its powerful emotive effects through simplicity and understatement a beautiful read. Kirkus Reviews, starred A simple story that encapsulates the joy and sadness of a coming-of-age novel with the trauma of a world in the midst of destruction. The lean, spare prose does not shy away from harsh realities. . . .A powerful novel. Publishers Weekly Aharon Appelfeld is fiction s foremost chronicler of the Holocaust. The stories he tells, as here in Blooms of Darkness, are small, intimate, and quietly narrated and yet are transfused into searing works of art by Appelfeld s profound understanding of loss, pain, cruelty, and grief. Philip Roth" "I love Aharon Appelfeld's "Blooms of Darkness." How can this great novelist still find fresh ways of telling the terrible story of those years? There's nothing reflexive or familiar in here, each sentence is exquisitely judged; we read with the same astonishment and trepidation as if it was all happening now, and for the first time. It's so sad, and yet it's also all told through the child's appetite for life, and with unquenched curiosity and hopefulness. We inhabit those things, taking refuge as Hugo does in the bliss of the moment--because, after all, what else is there?" --Tessa Hadley, "The Year in Reading," "The New Yorker" "Like Anne Frank's diary--a work to which it will draw justified comparison--"Blooms of Darkness," beautifully translated by Jeffrey M. Green, records a brutal process of education. . . . It is in his rendering of the border territory that Hugo and Mariana inhabit that Appelfeld reveals his compassion, his wisdom, and his restraint. . . . Majestic and humane." --"The New York Times Book Review" "Succeeds brilliantly as a gripping tale of Holocaust survival, but on this occasion, Appelfeld's literary imagination achieves a great deal more, creating a lyrically rendered story of adolescent sexual awakening, confusion, and love that gestures toward the painful inevitability of loss in any life. Above all, as is often the case with Appelfeld's most powerful works, "Blooms of Darkness" is an eloquent meditation on the resources of the mind, the consolations of memory, and the imagination under duress." --"The Forward" "An unadorned and heartbreaking tale of a young boy coming of age during World War II . . . Poignant and tender without being sentimental, the novel achieves its powerful emotive effects through simplicity and understatement--a beautiful read." --"Kirkus Reviews," starred "A simple story that encapsulates the joy and sadness of a coming-of-age novel with the trauma of a world in the midst "Like Anne Frank's diary--a work to which it will draw justified comparison--"Blooms of Darkness," beautifully translated by Jeffrey M. Green, records a brutal process of education. . . . It is in his rendering of the border territory that Hugo and Mariana inhabit that Appelfeld reveals his compassion, his wisdom, and his restraint. . . . Majestic and humane." --"The New York Times Book Review" "Succeeds brilliantly as a gripping tale of Holocaust survival, but on this occasion, Appelfeld's literary imagination achieves a great deal more, creating a lyrically rendered story of adolescent sexual awakening, confusion, and love that gestures toward the painful inevitability of loss in any life. Above all, as is often the case with Appelfeld's most powerful works, "Blooms of Darkness" is an eloquent meditation on the resources of the mind, the consolations of memory, and the imagination under duress." --"The Forward" "An unadorned and heartbreaking tale of a young bo

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