The Time of the Uprooted by Elie Wiesel

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Synopsis

Gamaliel Friedman is only a child when his family flees Czechoslovakia in 1939 for the relative safety of Hungary. For him, it will be the beginning of a life of rootlessness, disguise, and longing. Five years later, in desperation, Gamaliel’s parents entrust him to a young Christian cabaret singer named Ilonka. With his Jewish identity hidden, Gamaliel survives the war. But in 1956, to escape the stranglehold of communism, he leaves Budapest after painfully parting from Ilonka.

Gamaliel tries, unsuccessfully, to find a place for himself in Europe. After a failed marriage, he moves to New York, where he works as a ghostwriter, living through the lives of others. Eventually he falls in with a group of exiles, including a rabbi––a mystic whose belief in the potential for grace in everyday life powerfully counters Gamaliel’s feelings of loss and dispossession. When Gamaliel is asked to help draw out an elderly, disfigured Hungarian woman who may be his beloved Ilonka, he begins to understand that a real life in the present is possible only if he will reconcile with his past.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Elie Wiesel

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Elie Wiesel is the author of more than forty books, including his unforgettable international bestsellers Night and A Beggar in Jerusalem, winner of the Prix Médicis. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal, and the French Legion of Honor with the rank of Grand Cross. In 1986, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. He is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and University Professor at Boston University.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Schocken. 312 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Time of the Uprooted

Kirkus Reviews

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The author of The Jews of Silence (1966) and other works dealing with the Jewish survivors of the holocaust and problems of present-day Jewry, again returns to the unthinkable, looks forward to the future in essays and sketches.

Oct 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Time of the Uprooted

Kirkus Reviews

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Second, he begins to collect the tales told by his circle of friends, many of them veterans of the Spanish Civil War and WWII, who, having come to the gates of the new millennium, provocatively call themselves the “Elders of Zion.” Among others, there are Bolek, “sometimes taciturn, sometimes blu...

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The Time of the Uprooted

Publishers Weekly

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Nobel Prize–winner Wiesel (The Judges , Night ) considers the cost of exile for a writer and his circle of refugee friends in this meandering yet weighty new novel.

Jul 11 2005 | Read Full Review of The Time of the Uprooted

Book Reporter

Elie Wiesel's THE TIME OF THE UPROOTED shouldn't work.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Time of the Uprooted

The Best Reviews

Gamaliel is terrific as he reflects back on his melancholy life as a symbolism of all the refugees dislocated and relocated at the whims of the powerful and never knowing when if ever to settle in anticipation of the next dislocation.

Aug 09 2005 | Read Full Review of The Time of the Uprooted

Bookmarks Magazine

Thane Rosenbaum Baltimore Sun 4 of 5 Stars "The Secret Book, then, gives a parable of cosmic events that forced all the uprooted, the Jews who survived and the Christians who were abandoned by their Church, to face unaided their own choices between life and death.

Oct 15 2007 | Read Full Review of The Time of the Uprooted

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