The History of Love Hardcover – 26 May 2005
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'A bewitching novel, it brims with all manner of romantic possibility and luminous connection' -- Harpers and Queen
'A new star in the literary firmament... one of the most touching stories you are ever likely to read' -- In Style
'Characters fly off the page and into your consciousness' -- Good Housekeeping
'Charming, tender and wholly original' -- J.M.Coetzee
'Her distinctive voice is both plangent and wry, and her imagination encompasses many worlds' -- Publishers Weekly
'This is a wonderful novel, erupting with life . . . building to a perfect, heartbreaking end' -- Daily Mail
Poignant and evocative...the writing is beautiful... the twists and turns keep you riveted until the last page' -- Easy Living
Vertiginously exciting . . . vibrantly imagined . . . Ms. Krauss's work is illuminated by the warmth and delicacy of her prose -- New York Times
From the Publisher
Described by JM Coetzee as charming, tender and wholly original, an extract from The History of Love appeared in the New Yorker earlier this year. Nicole Krauss is one of the most exciting writers to have emerged from America in recent years and The History of Love is truly unforgettable: wonderfully funny, vivid and heartbreaking in equal measure.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Without giving too much away (I hope!), following a theme of "lost loves" both characters strive to fill a void of emptiness and loneliness left by the departure of a loved one. Leo Gursky, epitomises the endurance of a love so all-encompassing that 60 years on from his adolescent dream a long time ago in Poland at the start of the war, he yet spends his days contemplating his lost love, his childhood sweetheart, and conspicuously drawing attention to himself in public, by knocking over shop displays, to assure himself of his existence.
At the same time, we follow the efforts of Alma Singer, desperate to ease her mother's loneliness, after the death of her father several years previously. Alma sets out to find the author of an old book her mother is translating into English at the request of an unknown stranger...
Beautfully written, there is plenty of earthy humour and sadness to take you on an enchanting and emotional journey, from war-time Poland to present day New York.
"The first woman may have been Eve, but the first girl will always be Alma." So wrote young, aspiring author Leopold Gursky. He actually wrote three books before he was twenty-one, before WWII invaded his hometown of Slonim, which was located "sometimes in Poland, and others in Russia." Now, years later in Brooklyn, NY, Leo has no idea what happened to his manuscript, "The History Of Love," his most important work. He wrote the novel about the only thing he knew, his love for Alma. "Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering." He continued to write their story long after Alma's father sent her to America, where she would be safe from the Nazis. He even wrote after the Germans pushed East, toward his home.Read more ›
Leo Gursky has a weak heart, and may die at any moment. Virtually no one knows him, and his own son never even knew of him; he drops his change and buys things, just so someone might remember him when he dies. Sixty years ago, he fled Nazi-occupied Poland to pursue a childhood sweetheart to America, but she thought he had died, and married someone else.
Before that happened, Leo wrote a exquisite ode to her, called the "History of Love," a fictional look at love's origins, its milestones, and at a mysterious girl called Alma. A copy of that book found its way into teenage Alma's household, and she was named after that mysterious woman. Now, as her grief-stricken mother translates one of the few copies into English, Alma sets out on a journey of discovery -- about the mystery author, the person who wants the translation, and the mysterious original Alma.
Nicole Krauss writes much like her husband Jonathan Safran Foer -- she also takes a look at the past and present, at immigrants, and at the journies of our elders. And the insights she shows about the nature of love, and the intersections of life and literature, are startlingly deep. Many longtime authors can only dream of such delicate sensibilities.
The writing itself is surprisingly fluid, considering that Krauss changes narrators and timeframes several times, and sometimes refers to one character by different names.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Prepare to have your heart broken and then put together again in an even better shape.Published 2 months ago by Charlie Morley
This is a special book. I may not read another one for a while as I don't want to drown out its memory.Published 8 months ago by James of The Ral
I imagine Nicole Krauss is what they call 'a writer's writer'. Critics, and people who read for a living or as an academic pursuit will love her writing, but her book here will... Read morePublished 8 months ago by WeAreWhatWeRead
Not my usual cup of tea, but someone recommended it and I thought, why not? It's quite funny in places and nicely observed throughout. Read morePublished 8 months ago by HonestOpinion
I saw this book recommended on a list of the top 100 books to read. A beautiful book with good intentions. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Elizabeth Andrew
If you are looking for a novel with a gripping plot then this may not be the book for you. Although the narrative is very interesting, it is not a story which leaves you on the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Rachel