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 Stalinism, a ...
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