A long-lost book reappears, mysteriously connecting an old
man searching for his son and a girl seeking a cure for her widowed mother's
Leo Gursky's life is just about surviving, tapping his radiator each evening to let
his upstairs neighbor know he's still alive. But life wasn't always like
this: sixty years ago, in the Polish village where he was born, Leo fell in
love and wrote a book. And though Leo doesn't know it, that book survived,
inspiring fabulous circumstances, even love. Fourteen-year-old Alma was
named after a character in that very book. And although she has her hands
fullkeeping track of her brother, Bird (who thinks he might be the
Messiah), and taking copious notes on How to Survive in the Wildshe
undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With
consummate, spellbinding skill, Nicole Krauss gradually draws together their
This extraordinary book was inspired by the author's four grandparents and
by a pantheon of authors whose work is haunted by lossBruno Schulz, Franz
Kafka, Isaac Babel, and more. It is truly a history of love: a tale brimming
with laughter, irony, passion, and soaring imaginative power.
The Washington Post - Ron Charles
Even in moments of startling peculiarity, [Krauss] touches the most common elements of the heart. For Leo, obsessed with his death but struggling to be noticed, and for Alma, ready to grow up but arrested by her mother's grief, the persistence of love drives them to an astonishing connection.
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
There are also two kinds of writers given to the verbal tangents and cartwheels and curlicues that adorn Ms. Krauss's vertiginously exciting second novel: those whose pyrotechnics lead somewhere and those who are merely showing off. While there are times when Ms. Krauss's gamesmanship risks overpowering her larger purpose, her book's resolution pulls everything that precedes it into sharp focus. It has been headed for this moment of truth all along.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Venturing into Paul Auster territory in her graceful inquiry into the interplay between life and literature, Krauss is winsome, funny, and affecting.
Writing with tenderness about eccentric characters, she uses earthy humor to mask pain and to question the universe. Her distinctive voice is both plangent and wry, and her imagination encompasses many worlds.
Krauss develops the story beautifully, incrementally revealing details to expose more and more of the mystery behind Leo's book
A most unusual and original piece of fiction-and not to be missed.
Elizabeth Berg, author of The Art of Mending
Nicole Krauss is proof positive that great literature is being written today.
Myla Goldberg, author of The Bee Season
A book to be read slowly - both to savor the luminous prose and to stave off reaching the last page.
J. M. Coetzee, author of Elizabeth Costello
Charming, tender, and wholly original.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Adam Spiby The History of Love I adore this book.
I feel that it captures the human condition in a way that no book I have read before manages to. I would say that the story is perversely hopeful and ultimately life affirming.
I couldn't have consumed the final pages... Read More
Rated of 5
by Aga Rzepecki Read my review My favorite book.
Rated of 5
by Valerie Couldn't put it down... I had heard of The History of Love through the grapevine, but didn't expect for it to be a book I couldn't put down. The first day I started reading it I read 175 pages, and barely managed to tear myself away from it then. Krauss' way of... Read More
Rated of 5
by A L Palmer History of Love Fabulous If you have even half a brain you will enjoy this book immensely. This is not a book for the lighthearted quick reader, even though it is only 250 pages - if you are looking for a trashy novel buy one AND this book. However, it is a compelling... Read More
Rated of 5
by Denise The History of Love UGH - could it have been more difficult to try to follow what was going on in this book? It is painful when you must create a diagram to try to figure out who is who and how they relate to each other. The end was wholly unsatifying, as well. Our... Read More
Rated of 5
by Frankie The best This is by far, the most moving, emotion evoking and inspirational book I have read in a very long time. Krauss' craftsmanship is impeccable and beautiful. She uses everyday language in such a beautiful way that can leave you crying on one page and... Read More
Krauss spent her childhood on Long Island and has degrees from Stanford and
Oxford. Well into her twenties, she wrote poetry, which "felt like the
great goal of the language (she was a lot like the 14-year-old narrator of
The History of Love, Alma Singer, who
wants to be a survivalist, compiles obsessive lists,
and is an avid collector). Then she abruptly quit
poetry having set aside "an impossible quest for poetic precision".
Her first novel,
Man Walks Into a Room, was very well received
and was followed by a six-figure, two-book deal. Speaking of her first book she
says, "Getting a book published made me feel a little bit sad ...... I felt driven by the need to write a book,
rather than the need to write. I needed to figure
out what was important to me as a writer."
While she was writing The History of Love she says, "There was a real loosening of control. There
was no end in sight, no synthesis at all until
finally there it was."
Oldest romance writer in the world dies aged 105. Books #124 and #125 to be published next year(Dec 10 2013) Ida Pollock, author of more than 120 books, and believed to be the world's oldest romantic novelist, has died at the age of 105.