War Story by Gwen Edelman

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War Story is a novel that has already caused heated pre-publication debate here and abroad, where rights have been sold to leading literary publishers in six countries.

What is never in dispute, though, is Gwen Edelman's power as a writer: in stark, spare language, she has created an unforgettable and passionate love affair that raises questions about morality and identity, memory and character. Is the troubled moral fiber of Joseph his human nature, or did he become who he is out of necessity, to survive the horrific circumstances placed on a Jewish boy growing up in Europe during the war?

Reminiscent of Bernhard Schlink's The Reader, War Story is about the relationship between a once-famous postwar playwright and a young aspiring writer who meet in a secondhand bookstore in New York City, and begin a love affair that takes the reader from Vienna to Amsterdam, to Palestine, Paris, and New York. Told from the perspective of Kitty during a train ride from Paris to her former lover's funeral in Amsterdam years later, it is a story of how love and sexual relationships can form our identities, nurture us, as well as harm us. As indelible as it is controversial, War Story is the stunning debut of an extraordinary talent.

About Gwen Edelman

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Published January 1, 2001 by Allen & Unwin. 224 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Her journey over, Kitty recalls the last time she saw Joseph, suitcase in hand, ready to move on.

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The Guardian

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War Story Gwen Edelman 176pp, Bloomsbury, £12.99 A short, well-made novel, Gwen Edelman's War Story takes on huge, messy topics - the Holocaust, romantic love, the seductive power of stories - and tailors them to the human scale.

Jan 26 2002 | Read Full Review of War Story

Publishers Weekly

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As the well-mannered Kitty becomes increasingly captivated by the darkly magnetic, brilliant and libidinous Joseph, a story of love metamorphoses almost imperceptibly into a story of war: in the kitchen, eating bread and herring;

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