Ce roman constitue le second volet de l'Élu, le plus célèbre de tous les romans de Chaïm Potok. Fraîchement lancés dans leurs études universitaires, les deux amis ayant grandi à Brooklyn, Reuven Malter et Dany Saunders, doivent lutter pour rester fidèles à leur promesse et vivre conformément à leurs croyances et à leurs idéaux. Chaïm Potok a choisi le Brooklyn des années 50 comme cadre de ce roman dont les thèmes essentiels sont la fidélité envers soi-même ainsi que le rapport parfois conflictuel à la foi juive et à ses enseignements traditionnels. Dans un monde où les croyances sont bouleversées, la quête de spiritualité des héros du livre forme comme un antidote au désespoir contemporain.
Avec l'exceptionnelle puissance d'évocation qui le caractérise, Chaïm Potok reconstitue pour nous - à l'aide de cette grammaire du souvenir qui régit l'ensemble de son oeuvre - les difficiles débuts de David Lurie. Fils d'immigrants juifs polonais, enfant malade à la sensibilité exacerbée, celui-ci ne connaîtra que quelques années d'enfance paisible avant la crise de 1929, où il fera l'apprentissage d'un monde en plein désarroi, avant de prendre conscience de l'horreur de la guerre et de la barbarie nazie. Le petit garçon fragile deviendra un grand théologien au prix d'une rupture avec une tradition religieuse dont les enseignements ne lui paraissent pas assez approfondis. Il devra aussi s'exposer à perdre ce qui lui est le plus cher : l'affection et la compréhension des siens, l'approbation de ses maîtres et de ses propres certitudes. À travers le New York de la Dépression, Chaïm Potok évoque ici avec une minutieuse tendresse les joies et les peines d'une famille juive. Cette vaste fresque se termine par un déchirant pèlerinage de David à Bergen-Belsen, l'un des camps où se mêlent à tout jamais les racines et les cendres du peuple juif.
"Memorable...A book profound in its vision of humanity, of religion, and of art."
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Here is the original, deeply moving story of Asher Lev, the religious boy with an overwhelming need to draw, to paint, to render the world he knows and the pain he feels, on canvas for everyone to see. A loner, Asher has an extroardinary God-given gift that possesses a spirit all its own. It is this force that must learn to master without shaming his people or relinquishing any part of his deeply felt Judaism. It will not be easy for him, but he knows, too, that even if it is impossible, it must be done....
"A novel of finely articulated tragic power...Little short of a work of genius."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
From the Paperback edition.
"A superb mirror of a place, a time, and a group of people who capture our immediate interest and hold it tightly."
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
Young Reuven Malter is unsure of himself and his place in life. An unconventional scholar, he struggles for recognition from his teachers. With his old friend Danny Saunders--who himself had abandoned the legacy as the chosen heir to his father's rabbinical dynasty for the uncertain life of a healer--Reuvan battles to save a sensitive boy imprisoned by his genius and rage. Painfully, triumphantly, Reuven's understanding of himself, though the boy change, as he starts to aproach the peace he has long sought....
From the celebrated author of The Chosen and My Name Is Asher Lev, a trilogy of related novellas about a woman whose life touches three very different men--stories that encompass some of the profoundest themes of the twentieth century.
Ilana Davita Dinn is the listener to whom three men relate their lives.
As a young girl, she offers English lessons to a teenage survivor of the camps. In "The Ark Builder," he shares with her the story of his friendship with a proud old builder of synagogue arks, and what happened when the German army invaded their Polish town.
As a graduate student, she finds herself escorting a guest lecturer from the Soviet Union, and in "The War Doctor," her sympathy moves him to put his painful past to paper recounting his experiences as a Soviet NKVD agent who was saved by an idealistic doctor during the Russian civil war, only to encounter him again during the terrifying period of the Kremlin doctors' plot.
And, finally, we meet her in "The Trope Teacher," in which a distinguished professor of military history, trying to write his memoirs, is distracted by his wife's illness and by the arrival next door of a new neighbor, the famous writer I. D. (Ilana Davita) Chandal.
Poignant and profound, Chaim Potok's newest fiction is a major addition to his remarkable--and remarkably loved--body of work.
From the Hardcover edition.
For Davita Chandal, growing up in the New York of the 1930s and '40s is an experience of joy and sadness. Her loving parents, both fervent radicals, fill her with the fiercely bright hope of a new and better world. But as the deprivations of war and depression take a ruthless toll, Davita unexpectedly turns to the Jewish faith that her mother had long ago abandoned, finding there both a solace for her questioning inner pain and a test of her budding spirit of independence.
From the Paperback edition.
David Lurie learns that all beginnings are hard. He must fight for his place against the bullies in his Depression-shadowed Bronx neighborhood and his own frail health. As a young man, he must start anew and define his own path of personal belief that diverges sharply with his devout father and everything he has been taught....
From the Paperback edition.
"REMARKABLE . . . A WONDERFUL STORY."
--The Boston Globe
The father is a high-ranking Communist officer, a Jew who survived Stalin's purges. The son is a "refusenik," who risked his life and happiness to protest everything his father held dear. Now, Chaim Potok, beloved author of the award-winning novels The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev, unfolds the gripping true story of a father, a son, and a conflict that spans Soviet history. Drawing on taped interviews and his harrowing visits to Russia, Potok traces the public and privates lives of the Slepak family: Their passions and ideologies, their struggles to reconcile their identities as Russians and as Jews, their willingness to fight--and die--for diametrically opposed political beliefs.
/> "[A] vivid account . . . [Potok] brings a novelist's passion and eye for detail to a gripping story that possesses many of the elements of fiction--except that it's all too true."
--San Francisco Chronicle
From the Trade Paperback edition.