The Sonderberg Case: Book summary and reviews of The Sonderberg Case by Elie Wiesel

The Sonderberg Case

By Elie Wiesel

The Sonderberg Case
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2010,
    192 pages.

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Book Summary

Despite personal success, Yedidyah—a theater critic in New York City, husband to a stage actress, father to two sons—finds himself increasingly drawn to the past. As he reflects on his life and the decisions he's made, he longingly reminisces about the relationships he once had with the men in his family (his father, his uncle, his grandfather) and the questions that remain unanswered. It’s a feeling that is further complicated when Yedidyah is assigned to cover the murder trial of a German expatriate named Werner Sonderberg. Sonderberg returned alone from a walk in the Adirondacks with an elderly uncle, whose lifeless body was soon retrieved from the woods. His plea is enigmatic: “Guilty ... and not guilty.”

These words strike a chord in Yedidyah, plunging him into feelings that bring him harrowingly close to madness. As Sonderberg’s trial moves along a path of dizzying yet revelatory twists and turns, Yedidyah begins to understand his own family’s hidden past and finally liberates himself from the shadow it has cast over his life.

With his signature elegance and thoughtfulness, Elie Wiesel has given us an enthralling psychological mystery, both vividly dramatic and profoundly emotional.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"From the first clear, simple sentence, melancholy hangs over the story, always permeating the author's voice ... The theme of the Jew today confronting his own family history remains powerful." - Booklist

“Wiesel's latest novel is full of questions... Is Sonderberg guilty? The answer is satisfying if not surprising, a good description of this musing, almost fable-like work." - Library Journal

"A slim novel that's heavy on philosophy." - Kirkus Reviews

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Author Information

Elie Wiesel Author Biography

Photo: Sergey Bermeniev

Elie Wiesel was born on September 30th, 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. He was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. His mother Sarah and younger sister Tzipora perished, his two older sisters, Hilda and Beatrice, survived. Elie and his father Shlomo were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in April 1945.

After the war, Elie Wiesel studied in Paris and later became a journalist. During an interview with the distinguished French writer, Francois Mauriac, he was persuaded to write about his experiences in the death camps. The result was his internationally acclaimed memoir, La Nuit or Night, which has since been translated into more than thirty languages.

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Elie Wiesel: eh-lee vee-ZEL

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