Yoram Kaniuk has been hailed as "one of the most innovative, brilliant novelists in the Western World" (The New York Times), and The Last Jew is his exhilarating masterwork. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Last Jew is a sweeping saga that captures the troubled history and culture of an entire people through the prism of one family. From the chilling opening scene of a soldier returning home in a fog of battle trauma, the novel moves backward through time and across continents until Kaniuk has succeeded in bringing to life the twentieth century's most unsettling legacy: the anxieties of modern Europe, which begat the Holocaust, and in turn the birth of Israel and the swirling cauldron that is the Middle East. With the unforgettable character of Ebenezer Schneerson--the eponymous last Jew--at its center, Kaniuk weaves an ingenious tapestry of Jewish identity that is alternately tragic, absurd, enigmatic, and heartbreaking.
Yoram Kaniuk was born in Tel Aviv in 1930 and took part in Israel's War of Independence in 1948. A painter, journalist, and theater critic, he is best known as a novelist. His books have been translated to great acclaim into more than twenty languages and have earned him the Bialik Prize, the French Prix de Droits de l'Homme, and the Israeli President's Prize.
"A rich, demanding, life-affirming masterpiece . . . Not to be missed." "Wildly accomplished . . . Kaniuk writes like a European master of an earlier age . . . [and] has rightly been compared with Borges and Marquez as much as with James Joyce. . . . Kaniuk has written a Bible." -- Joshua Cohen "A true work of art . . . First published more than twenty years ago and newly translated into English, the novel's preoccupations are only more timely today: the exploitation of catastrophe and the deceptiveness of art." -- Dara Horn