Details

ISBN-10: 1632060604
ISBN-13: 9781632060600
Publisher: Restless Books
Publish Date: 09/07/2021
Dimensions: 7.10" L, 5.00" W, 0.70" H

The Memory Monster

Translator: Yardenne Greenspan

Price: $16.00

In stock

Overview

“A brilliant short novel that serves as a brave, sharp-toothed brief against letting the past devour the present” (The New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice), Yishai Sarid’s The Memory Monster is a harrowing parable of a young historian who becomes consumed by the memory of the Holocaust.

“A brilliant short novel that serves as a brave, sharp-toothed brief against letting the past devour the present” (The New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice), Yishai Sarid’s The Memory Monster is a harrowing parable of a young historian who becomes consumed by the memory of the Holocaust.

A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2020 SELECTION

Written as a report to the chairman of Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, our unnamed narrator recounts his own undoing. Hired as a promising young historian, he soon becomes a leading expert on Nazi methods of extermination at concentration camps in Poland during World War II and guides tours through the sites for students and visiting dignitaries. He hungrily devours every detail of life and death in the camps and takes pride in being able to recreate for his audience the excruciating last moments of the victims’ lives.

The job becomes a mission, and then an obsession. Spending so much time immersed in death, his connections with the living begin to deteriorate. He resents the students lost in their iPhones, singing sentimental songs, not expressing sufficient outrage at the genocide committed by the Nazis. In fact, he even begins to detect, in the students as well as himself, a hint of admiration for the murderers–their efficiency, audacity, and determination. Force is the only way to resist force, he comes to think, and one must be prepared to kill.

With the perspicuity of Kafka’s The Trial and the obsessions of Delillo’s White Noise, The Memory Monster confronts difficult questions that are all too relevant to Israel and the world today: How do we process human brutality? What makes us choose sides in conflict? And how do we honor the memory of horror without becoming consumed by it?

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Reviews

"Sarid's incisive critique of Holocaust memorialization, the corruption within it, and the perverse forms of nationalism it can engender is courageous. . . . It unabashedly critiques the link between Holocaust remembrance culture and the tendency of certain strains of Jewish and particularly Israeli culture to overrate the centrality of aggressive survivorship to Jewish identity, and how this culture in turn nurtures the militarization, settler colonialism, and Islamophobia that combine to create the perfect storm of violent right-wing nationalism. . . . Nuanced and subtle at every level."

–Miranda Cooper, Los Angeles Review of Books

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Details

ISBN-10: 1632060604
ISBN-13: 9781632060600
Publisher: Restless Books
Publish Date: 09/07/2021
Dimensions: 7.10" L, 5.00" W, 0.70" H
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