From the book jacket:
Gamaliel Friedman is only a child when his family flees Czechoslovakia
in 1939 for the relative safety of Hungary. For him, it will be the
beginning of a life of rootlessness, disguise, and longing. Five years
later, in desperation, Gamaliel's parents entrust him to a young
Christian cabaret singer named Ilonka. With his Jewish identity hidden,
he survives the war, but in 1956, to escape the stranglehold of
communism, he leaves Budapest after painfully parting with Ilonka.
He settles in Vienna, then Paris, and finally, after a failed marriage,
in New York, where he works as a ghostwriter, living through the lives
of others. Eventually, he falls in with a group of exiles: a Spanish
Civil War veteran, a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto, a victim of
Beyond the Book
Elie Wiesel was born in 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 and younger sister
perished, his two older sisters survived. Elie and
his father were later transported to Buchenwald,
where his father died shortly before the camp was
liberated in April 1945.
After the war, he studied in Paris and
later became a journalist. During an...