The Conversion by Aharon Appelfeld
A Novel

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Synopsis

Our story opens in an Austrian city, two generations before the Holocaust, where almost all of the Jews have converted to Christianity. Today the church bells are pealing for Karl, an ambitious young civil servant whose conversion will clear his path to a coveted high government post. Karl's future looks bright, but with his promotion comes a political crisis that turns his conversion into a baptism by fire, unexpectedly reuniting Karl with his past and forcing him to take a stand he could never have imagined.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Aharon Appelfeld

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Aharon Appelfeld is the author of twelve internationally acclaimed novels, including The Iron Tracks, The Retreat, and Unto the Soul (all available from Schocken), and Badenheim 1939. He lives in Jerusalem, Israel.From the Trade Paperback edition.
 
Published October 20, 1998 by Schocken. 240 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

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His reunion with Gloria, and his chastened gratitude for her devotion to his loved ones (“She had absorbed their lives fully while he was merely a drifter in their world”), unite the two and show Karl a pathway back to his origins when an injustice orchestrated by the government he serves (the ab...

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Publishers Weekly

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Although the Holocaust is never mentioned (nor are years and dates), it is ever-present--and directly prefigured in the tragic finale, when Karl and his former housemaid, Gloria, an observant Jew with whom he is reunited and falls in love, are murdered by anti-Semitic peasants.

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