The Revisionist by Helen Schulman

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In a novel that is part love story, part black comedy, and part searing family tragedy, Dr. David Hershleder, a brilliant but tortured Jewish neurologist on the cusp of turning forty, is thrown out of the house by his shiksa wife. He still loves her and his children, but an essential something, the piece of him that should know how to share his heart, is dead. In order to avoid the crushing weight of his loss, he embarks on a research project involving a Holocaust denier. The son of a refugee--a mother whose psychic wounds cast a paralyzing spell over her child's life--Hershleder has a growing fascination with Holocaust denial that makes perverse sense. He becomes more and more obsessed and, with the help of two oddball buddies from college, he finds and confronts a revisionist in Paris, and in the process confronts himself, exploding the lies he has constructed his own life around--his own revisionist history.
Helen Schulman deftly explores both the frightening world of Holocaust denial as well as the more intimate denial that we often use to survive our own lives. With humor and incisive intelligence, The Revisionist examines the dangerous absurdities embraced by the Holocaust's would-be refuters, as well as the havoc the Holocaust still wreaks on the children of Holocaust survivors, a grief that is learned, not earned; a grief that is inherited.

About Helen Schulman

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Helen Schulman teaches fiction at Columbia University and is the author of the short story collection Not a Free Show, the novel Out of Time, and co-editor of the anthology Wanting a Child. She lives with her husband and daughter in New York City.
Published August 18, 1998 by Crown. 246 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In a strange and circuitous attempt to revive his marriage and rediscover himself, he becomes interested in tracking down and speaking to a onetime Holocaust denier who has recently published a massive tome (translated by an old schoolfriend of Hershleder’s) in which he reverses himself and decla...

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Publishers Weekly

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Into this midlife muddle wanders the book review of a 1000-page book ""proving"" that the Holocaust happened, written by a former Holocaust denier and translated by someone Hershleder used to know, David Josephson, the old college roommate of Hershleder's best friend, David Kahn.

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The Paris Review

I thought I would write a nonfiction book about it, so I wrote Horace Mann, but I was totally stonewalled.

Aug 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Revisionist

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