In the Image: Book summary and reviews of In the Image by Dara Horn

In the Image

A Novel

By Dara Horn

In the Image
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2002,
    288 pages.

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Book Summary

An extraordinary first novel illuminated by spiritual exploration, one that remembers "a language, a literature, a held hand, an entire world lived and breathed in the image of God."

Like A. S. Byatt's Possession, Dara Horn's novel seamlessly weaves its deeper preoccupations into a narrative thoroughly absorbing and satisfying. We follow Leora through the death of a friend in high school and on to college, career, and falling in love, while simultaneously tracing the story of Bill Landsmann, her lost friend's grandfather, back to Amsterdam, Austria, and New York's Lower East Side. Each story is simply told and yet is also a foray into the nature of good and evil, of the significance of tradition and the law, of the presence or absence of God.

Not just a first novel but a cultural event—a wedding of secular and religious forms of literature—In the Image neither lives in the past nor seeks to escape it, but rather assimilates it, in the best sense of the word, honoring what is lost and finding, among the lost things, the treasures that can renew the present.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"An occasional stiffness in the narration is overcome by the warmth of her appreciation of Jewish culture and heritage, and she makes eloquent use of recurring motifs ... as she captures life in early 20th-century Europe and contemporary New York." - Publishers Weekly.

"Even those characters embodying the worst of human nature are compelling. Strongly recommended for larger fiction collections." - Library Journal.

"Starred Review. Poignant and profound, a novel that invites careful re-reading." - Booklist.

"Earnest but immature: a story that's thoroughly well-intended but that generates too little drive or drama to rise to the next level." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Mezmerizingly blends religious and family history with its protagonist's coming-of-age story ... a stunning and absorbing first novel." - San Francisco Chronicle.

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Author Information

Dara Horn Author Biography

Michael B. Priest

Dara Horn was born in New Jersey in 1977 and received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University in 2006, studying Hebrew and Yiddish. In 2007 she was chosen by Granta magazine as one of America's "Best Young American Novelists." Her first novel, In the Image, published by W.W. Norton when she was 25, received a 2003 National Jewish Book Award, the 2002 Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and the 2003 Reform Judaism Fiction Prize. Her second novel, The World to Come, published by W.W. Norton in 2006, received the 2006 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, the 2007 Harold U. Ribalow Prize, was selected as an Editors' Choice in The New York Times Book Review and as one of the Best Books of 2006 by The San Francisco Chronicle, and has been translated into eleven languages...

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