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Daniel Stein, Interpreter

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Daniel Stein, Interpreter

Ludmila Ulitskaya

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ISBN 13: 9781590203200
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Hardcover
Overlook
3/31/11

Product Description

Daniel Stein, Interpreter is already seen by many as the great Russian novel of our time. Winner of the Russian National Literary Prize and the Simone de Beauvoir Prize, Ludmila Ulitskaya has earned accolades abroad for this groundbreaking work, at last available in English. The novel tells the story of Daniel Stein, a Polish Jew who miraculously survives the Holocaust by working for the Gestapo as an interpreter. After the war, he converts to Catholicism, becomes a priest, enters the Order of Barefoot Carmelites, and emigrates to Israel. Despite this seemingly impossible progression, the life and destiny of Daniel Stein are not an invention -- the character is based on the life of Oswald Rufeisen, the real Brother Daniel. This innovative, furious, and funny book, compiled as a series of documents -- letters, diary entries, postcards, and other records -- ranges from before the war to modern times and from the shtetl to Haifa to Boston. It tells of a life full of contradictions and undaunted faith.



Ludmila Ulitskaya is Russia’s bestselling literary novelist and has written fourteen novels, three tales for children, and six plays. Daniel Stein, Interpreter won the Russian National Literary Prize and previous novels have received the Russian Booker Prize, the Penne Literary Prize, and the Medici Award. Ludmila Ulitskaya was awarded the 2011 Simone de Beauvoir Prize, an international human rights prize for women’s freedom.



"Ludmilla Ulitskaya's Daniel Stein, Interpreter is a refreshing affirmation of the beauty of hybridity . . . The novel is meticulously researched, providing sketches of the historical development of Christianity and its separation from Judaism, as well as ancient and modern Israeli history. It becomes a collage about a man who 'lived in the presence of God' . . . Intriguing." -- The Daily Beast

"A feat of love and tolerance." --Washington Post

"Ludmila Ulitskaya arrives here not just as a shrewd novelist, but as a wise and evocative artist." --The Philadelphia Inquirer

"One of the most important living Russian writers." --Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

"With warmth and intelligence, Daniel Stein addresses life's great challenges and the complexities of faith, though not everyone is pleased with his unorthodox views." -- Publisher's Weekly

"[Ulitskaya's] dispersal of Rufestein's life releases its truth rather than diluting it, suffusing Daniel Stein with a rawness and sincerity that is rare in Holocaust literature. In this way, the novel accomplishes one of the classic goals of its form: it takes a piece of human experience that has frozen into cliché and, through a persistent and sometimes clumsy urge to understand, warms it back to life…[Ulitskaya] has integrated fact and fiction in the same communicative spirit with which Daniel combines Old Testament rigor and New Testament enthusiasm…Daniel Stein, Interpreter is reminder of how crazy the desire to communicate can be, and how miraculous it is when a writer succeeds in doing so." -- The Literary Review/

"Ulitskaya is Russia's best-selling novelist, and Daniel Stein, Interpreter has something for everyone. A docudrama, a post-modern epistolary novel, it tells the 'true story' of the improbable, heroic life of a Polish Jew who translates for the Gestapo, saves part of a ghetto, escapes execution, hides in a convent, converts to Catholicism, joins the partisans, emigrates to Israel, and re-founds the Church of St. James, a community for which he performs mass in Hebrew. He offends church officials and violates orthodoxies, but Daniel is a sort of saint, doing the work of Christ. Two popes and a terrorist make cameo appearances. The story is breathless, the style curious, like Hollywood gangsters speaking broken English with the accents of their countries of origin. Despite the intrusion of some unpleasant historical facts, that good triumphs over evil and over truth is the book's truism. The 'author' appears and at one point and offers this fair assessment, 'I am not a real writer and this book is not a novel but a collage.'" --Booklist

"Masterfully translated . . . Daniel Stein, Interpreter is a riveting read of literary historical fiction . . . Grade-A" --Midwest Book Review

"Ludmilla Ulitskaya's Daniel Stein, Interpreter is a refreshing affirmation of the beauty of hybridity . . . The novel is meticulously researched, providing sketches of the historical development of Christianity and its separation from Judaism, as well as ancient and modern Israeli history." --The Brooklyn Rail





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