Old Men at Midnight by Chaim Potok
(Ballantine Reader's Circle)

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Synopsis

From the celebrated author of The Chosen and My Name Is Asher Lev, a trilogy of related novellas about a woman whose life touches three very different men—stories that encompass some of the profoundest themes of the twentieth century.

Ilana Davita Dinn is the listener to whom three men relate their lives.

As a young girl, she offers English lessons to a teenage survivor of the camps. In “The Ark Builder,” he shares with her the story of his friendship with a proud old builder of synagogue arks, and what happened when the German army invaded their Polish town.

As a graduate student, she finds herself escorting a guest lecturer from the Soviet Union, and in “The War Doctor,” her sympathy moves him to put his painful past to paper recounting his experiences as a Soviet NKVD agent who was saved by an idealistic doctor during the Russian civil war, only to encounter him again during the terrifying period of the Kremlin doctors’ plot.

And, finally, we meet her in “The Trope Teacher,” in which a distinguished professor of military history, trying to write his memoirs, is distracted by his wife’s illness and by the arrival next door of a new neighbor, the famous writer I. D. (Ilana Davita) Chandal.

Poignant and profound, Chaim Potok’s newest fiction is a major addition to his remarkable—and remarkably loved—body of work.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Chaim Potok

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Chaim Potok was born in New York City in 1929. He graduated from Yeshiva University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, was ordained as a rabbi, and earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. He also served as editor of the Jewish Publication Society of America. Potok's first novel, The Chosen, published in 1967, received the Edward Lewis Wallant Memorial Book Award and was nominated for the National Book Award. He is author of eight novels, including In the Beginning and My Name is Asher Lev, and Wanderings, a history of the Jews. He died in 2002.
 
Published December 25, 2008 by Ballantine Books. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Old Men at Midnight

Publishers Weekly

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The ninth novel from Potok (The Chosen; My Name Is Asher Lev; etc.) is actually a series of three linked novellas, all of which

Nov 05 2001 | Read Full Review of Old Men at Midnight (Ballanti...

The New York Times

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In Chaim Potok's triptych, an enigmatic woman elicits the stories of characters young and old.

Nov 04 2001 | Read Full Review of Old Men at Midnight (Ballanti...

Reader Rating for Old Men at Midnight
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