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Suddenly, Love


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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 M dicis tranger), 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.


"The questions Suddenly, Love poses are not only those of Jewish displacement, Jewish memory, and Jewish identity. Woven in are also questions of language, of the proper relationship of words to life . . . In treating the largest of possible subjects--life, death, faith, language, identity, ethical responsibility--Appelfeld is one with Emily Dickinson's directive, 'Tell all the truth but tell it slant.' Suddenly, Love is a brilliantly hybrid creature: It has the real-life detail of the traditional novel, but it also make us travel into the worlds of folk tales and magic, prayers and dreams. All this is accomplished with deftness and clarity."
--Mary Gordon, The New York Times Book Review

"Suddenly, Love has all the wisdom, compassion, restraint, and exquisite clarity we have come to expect from Appelfeld . . . It is a powerful story of redemption through faith and love . . . the product of an extraordinarily creative imagination."
--Haaretz (Tel Aviv) "At the end of this spare, slender novel, both Ernst's and Irena's lives have been transformed. It isn't far-fetched to suggest that, in some subtle way, the reader has been changed, too."
--The Jewish Journal
(Los Angeles)
"In a tradition that does not sacrifice reason but reveres it, that turns study itself into a sacred activity, does goodness still look like simplicity, or does it take other forms? These are the fascinating questions posed by Suddenly, Love."

"The novel's obvious virtues include Appelfeld's characteristically spare, stripped-down prose, rendered in Jeffrey M. Green's elegant translation, and the narrative's seamless interweaving of past and present . . . In this borderland between life and death, memory and imagination, [Ernst and Irena] fashion a love story that, however unlikely, will move all but the most skeptical of readers."
--The Boston Globe "Suddenly, Love spotlights Appelfeld's genius for depicting a quietude of soul in a world that oscillates between rasp and ruin. In its murmured telling, it becomes a deeply interior hymn to the sustaining, ballasting brew of loyalty and affection . . . Appelfeld has always been a master of the subtle, Chekhovian misunderstandings between individuals."
--The New Republic

"A quiet, moving, and utterly convincing story about the growing love between an aging author and his companion . . . Appelfeld writes simply but gorgeously about important things, and the translation is particularly graceful and supple."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred) "A quiet, contemplative story about empathy, connection, and finding love when you least expect it. Readers of Amos Oz and A. B. Yehoshua will enjoy Appelfeld's storytelling."
--Library Journal

"This compact novel movingly embraces the themes of love, faith, and redemption between two disparate Jewish generations . . . Appelfeld tells the affecting tale in clean, spare prose."
--Publishers Weekly ---------------------------------------
More praise for AHARON APPELFELD

Until the Dawn's Light
"With a deftness that allows single words to suggest volumes of emotional complication, Appelfeld draws us into this young mother's story . . . [A] remarkable novel . . . Masterly and finely wrought."
--Julie Orringer, The New York Times Book Review Blooms of Darkness
"Like Anne Frank's diary--a work to which it will draw justified comparison--
Blooms of Darkness records a brutal process of education [through which] Appelfeld reveals his compassion, his wisdom, and his restraint . . . Majestic and humane."
David Leavitt, The New York Times Book Review Laish
"The appearance of simplicity is, of course, the result of care and control, and the success with which it is achieved is one of the most notable and impressive features of this strikingly original novel, comparable in its way, though very different in tone, to some of the early work of Ernest Hemingway."
--Barry Unsworth, The New York Times Book Review All Whom I Have Loved
"Poetic in his instincts, Appelfeld has an artfully spare writing style, pregnant in its imagery, intentionally coy in its resonance."
Liesl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review The Iron Tracks
"Appelfeld is a writer of genuine distinction who has transformed his own experience into literature of exceptional clarity and power."
Jonathan Rosen, The New York Times Book Review Katerina
"Appelfeld reimagines the place of his own origins through a perspective that in its generosity of feeling recalls Tolstoy and Chekhov."
Judith Grossman, The New York Times Book Review

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