"Psalm 44" is the last major work of fiction by Danilo Kiš to be translated into English, and his only novel dealing explicitly with Auschwitz (where his own father died). Written when he was only twenty-five, before embarking on the masterpieces that would make him an integral figure in twentieth-century letters, Psalm 44 shows Kiš at his most lyrical and unguarded, demonstrating that even in "the place of dragons... covered with the shadow of death," there can still be poetry. Featuring characters based on actual inmates and warders--including the abominable Dr. Mengele--"Psalm 44" is a baring of many of the themes, patterns, and preoccupations Kiš would return to in future, albeit never with the same starkness or immediacy.
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Psalm 44 is recommended to readers willing to overlook its factual flaws to find its compelling truths and to admirers of Mr. Kiš’ writing who want to read his early work.Read Full Review of Psalm 44 (Serbian Literature) | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books