The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

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Synopsis

ONE OF THE MOST LOVED NOVELS OF THE DECADE.


A long-lost book reappears, mysteriously connecting an old man searching for his son and a girl seeking a cure for her widowed mother’s loneliness.


 


Leo Gursky taps his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he’s still alive. But it wasn’t always like this: in the Polish village of his youth, he fell in love and wrote a book. . . . Sixty years later and half a world away, fourteen-year-old Alma, who was named after a character in that book, undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With virtuosic skill and soaring imaginative power, Nicole Krauss gradually draws these stories together toward a climax of “extraordinary depth and beauty” (Newsday).
 

About Nicole Krauss

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Nicole Krauss has been hailed by the New York Times as "one of America's most important novelists." She is the author of the international bestseller Great House, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Man Walks Into a Room. Her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages.
 
Published May 17, 2006 by W. W. Norton & Company. 280 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The History of Love

Kirkus Reviews

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The first of the stories here is that of New York City octogenarian Leo Gursky, a Polish war refugee who came to America seeking Alma, the girl he had loved, who had emigrated before him.

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The New York Times

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In her second novel, Nicole Krauss writes in the shadow of some powerful literary father figures.

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

The New York Times

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(Bird's biggest problem, actually, is that he's preposterous.) She tries to fix her mother up -- ''The doctor's name was Henry Lavender, which I thought boded well (Alma Lavender!)'' -- and she instructs her brother to ''at least try to be normal.'' Granted, these aren't startlingly original ...

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

The New York Times

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here are two types of people in the world," one of Nicole Krauss's characters in "The History of Love" decides, "those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone."

Apr 25 2005 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

The New York Times

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t would be unfair to liken Nicole Krauss's second novel, ''The History of Love,'' to ''Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,'' the recently published second novel by her better-known husband, Jonathan Safran Foer, except for two things.

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

The Guardian

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The very fact that Gursky carries the candle for his own Alma until his dying day - even though she marries somebody else and has children he stays faithful to her - gives a rather fairytale feel to the whole novel.

May 20 2005 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

Publishers Weekly

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What's really missing in his life is the woman he has always loved, the son who doesn't know that Leo is his father, and his lost novel, called The History of Love , which, unbeknownst to Leo, was published years ago in Chile under a different man's name.

Feb 21 2005 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

Book Reporter

Alma and her younger brother Bird are both coping with the recent death of their father, as is Alma's mother, a translator who receives a surprising commission from a mysterious stranger --- to translate an obscure Spanish book titled THE HISTORY OF LOVE into English.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

Entertainment Weekly

Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer (yes, Alma), a precocious kid who idolizes Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and has memorized whole sections of Edible Plants and Flowers in North America, was named for characters in an obscure Chilean book, The History of Love, which her father gave her mother when the...

Apr 27 2005 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

The Bookbag

We find out the history of the manuscript, the history of Leo's friend Zvi Litvinoff, who published Leo's book, the history of Alma Singer, her parents and her brother, the history of Leo Gursky's life, and even the history of Alma Mereminski in America, as well as her sons.

Nov 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

People

The Eggers and Foer fans will mm probably stain this one with their tears, but others will find that despite her fine writing, Krauss, 30, is too often on the wrong side of the line between precocious and precious.

May 16 2005 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

Bookmarks Magazine

Yet most reviewers, who quickly compared Krauss’s work to her husband Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close ( 3 of 5 Stars page 38), agreed that her work is more restrained, her characters more illuminating, and the novel as a whole a bit superior.

Jan 08 2008 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

London Review of Books

Nah, I’ll say, I have those already, and then I’ll make my way over to the Reeboks and pick out something that doesn’t even resemble a shoe, a waterproof bootie, maybe, and ask for it in size 9.

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Chamber Four

It’s a role he plays to perfection, in part because it’s who he is, and in part because it’s the only role left for him to play.

Jul 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

New York Magazine

As do their sensitivities: Like Foer, Krauss still seems a touch uncomfortable with the pigeonhole of “Jewish fiction.” Growing up in a Jewish neighborhood, Krauss “wanted to have nothing to do with anything Jewish at all.” Even as we walk through the forsaken shtetl of the Lower East Side and Kr...

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New York Magazine

Nicole Krauss opens up about her curious life and her powerful second novel.

Nov 01 2013 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

The Paris Review

Leavis, Flaubert's Parrit, Ford Madox Ford, Frank Kermode, Frantz Fanon, Guildhall, History and Value, I'm the King of the Castle, John Banville, John Berger, Julian Barnes, Leo Robson, love, Man Booker Prize, Pat Barker, Penelope Fitzgerald, Susan Hill, Talking It Over, The Good Solider, The New...

Nov 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The History of Love

Reader Rating for The History of Love
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