The Book of Dirt

Bram Presser (Author)
Available

Description

WINNER, 2018 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD GOLDBERG PRIZE FOR DEBUT FICTION

"A remarkable tale of Holocaust survival, love and genealogical sleuthing."--Books + Publishing

"Lyrical, impassioned and culturally rich."--Saturday Paper

"As in Sebald's prose narratives, Presser's novel inhabits and the dynamic region between fiction and non-fiction."--Australian Book Review

"A heartfelt and original attempt to bridge the ever-growing gaps between history, memory and silence."--The Australian

This novel was written as a tribute to the author's grandparents:

All we knew was silence. My maternal grandparents never spoke of their wartime experiences. We built myths around them: he was a teacher in the camps, keeping the children busy until it was their turn to be killed; she was capable of lifting the railway sleepers used to build the tracks that brought her fellow Jews to their deaths. It was enough. We knew not to ask. When they died only a month apart, their stories went with them, entering unchallenged into the family canon.
Then came the cracks. A newspaper article purporting to be based on an interview with him. Photographs of her on the arm of a mysterious man. Emails from an octogenarian Englishman claiming to have been his pupil. A bundle of letters hidden in a shoebox at the back of her sister's musty closet. Everything we thought we knew was wrong.

Bram Presser reimagines his family's experiences from these fragments, creating a powerful novel about memory, history, and identity.

Product Details

Price
$15.95  $14.67
Publisher
Text Publishing Company
Publish Date
September 11, 2018
Pages
320
Dimensions
6.0 X 1.1 X 9.2 inches | 0.9 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
ISBN/EAN
9781925240269
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Bram Presser was born in Melbourne in 1976. His stories have appeared in Best Australian Stories, Award Winning Australian Writing, The Sleepers Almanac and Higher Arc.

Reviews

"A thoughtful, lyrical examination of his family's Holocaust past. It begins with a warning: 'Almost everyone you care about in this book is dead.' But as the Jewish Book Council noted last month when it awarded Presser its Goldberg Prize for Debut Fiction, the book is "so beautifully executed that it authenticates the voices Presser seeks to awaken."--Jewish Telegraph Agency

"Like Maus and Everything Is Illuminated, The Book of Dirt is less a chronicle of the Holocaust than it is a reaction to it...a story about surviving the survivors. But Presser's book is younger, and was birthed in a world, unlike Spiegelman and Foer's, where even the survivors largely have not survived. This fact grants the story a kind of reverence, and a kind of innocence."--Jewish Book Council

"[An] audacious work about the author's search for the grandfather he loved but hardly knew. Working in the wake of writers like Modiano and Safran Foer, Presser brilliantly shows how fresh facts can derail old truths, how fiction can amplify memory. A smart and tender meditation on who we become when we attempt to survive survival."--Mireille Juchau

"A remarkable tale of Holocaust survival, love and genealogical sleuthing...A beautiful tale that will stay with the reader long after the book's end."--Books + Publishing

"The lyrical, impassioned and culturally rich prose of The Book of Dirt, and its moral force, bears echoes of such great Jewish writers as Franz Kafka (Presser inherited his grandfather's copy of The Trial), Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Cynthia Ozick...It is a major book, and one for the times: while I was reading it, neo-Nazis in America brought fatal violence to Charlottesville, and, in Melbourne, neo-Nazis placed posters in schools calling for the killing of Jews to be legalised...The Book of Dirt is a courageous work, as necessary for us to read as it was for Presser to write."--Saturday Paper

"As in Sebald's prose narratives, Presser's novel inhabits and the dynamic region between fiction and non-fiction."--Australian Book Review

"Presser blurs the boundaries of fact and fiction in a compelling way...A wonderful and original book, told in rich, lyrically beautiful prose that is laden with history and cultural meaning."--Good Reading

"A heartfelt and original attempt to bridge the ever-growing gaps between history, memory and silence...Its heart beats so earnestly, and so loud...A meditation on the ethics of storytelling, of the duties we owe to the people whose stories we tell, and to the people whose stories we don't."--The Australian

"Always surprising and beautifully complex, and both deft and sensitive in its handling of its intertwined narratives and materials. It is an incredibly affecting book, one that lingers long after reading--and a remarkably assured debut."--The Age