MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Forest Dark

A Novel

by Nicole Krauss

Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss X
Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss
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    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2017, 304 pages
    Aug 2018, 304 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Davida Chazan
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About this Book

Print Excerpt

The police only had the case for half a day before it was taken over by the Shin Bet. Shimon Peres called the family personally to say that mountains would be moved. The taxi driver who'd picked Epstein up six days earlier was tracked down and taken in for questioning. Scared out of his wits, he smiled the whole time, showing his gold tooth. Later he led the Shin Bet detectives to the road along the Dead Sea and, following some confusion as a result of nerves, managed to locate the spot where he had let Epstein off, an intersection near the barren hills halfway between the caves of Qumran and Ein Gedi. The search parties fanned out across the desert, but all they turned up was Epstein's empty monogrammed briefcase, which, as Maya put it, only made the possibility of his transubstantiation seem more real.

During those days and nights, gathered together in the rooms of the Hilton suite, his children tossed back and forth between hope and grief. A phone was always ringing—Schloss alone was manning three—and each time it did, they attached themselves to the latest information that came through. Jonah, Lucie, and Maya learned things about their father that they hadn't known. But in the end, they got no closer to finding out what he had meant by it all, or what had become of him. As the days passed, the calls had come less often, and brought no miracles. Slowly they adjusted themselves to a new reality in which their father, so firm and decisive in life, had left them with a final act that was utterly ambiguous.

A rabbi was brought in who explained to them in heavily accented English that Jewish law required absolute certainty about the death before the mourning rituals could be observed. In cases where there was no corpse, a witness to the death was considered enough. And even with no corpse and no witness, a report that the person had been killed by thieves, or drowned, or dragged off by a wild animal was enough. But in this case there was no corpse, no witness, and no report. No thieves, or wild animals, as far as anyone knew. Only an inscrutable absence where once their father had been.

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From the book: Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss. Copyright © 2017 by Nicole Krauss. Reprinted courtesy of Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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