BookBrowse Reviews To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss

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To Be a Man

by Nicole Krauss

To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss X
To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss
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  • Published:
    Nov 2020, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Karen Lewis
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In a collection of ten short stories, Nicole Krauss reveals a panorama of characters through life challenges and turning points.

While, as its title hints, To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss is concerned with masculinity, it renders a variety of characters — heroic and otherwise. Throughout the book, Krauss weaves present-time situations with emotional, ancestral echoes of destruction and deep, unburied grief. The past continues to propel her characters as they find courage to build new lives and relationships; most grapple with the Holocaust's traumatic abyss. The narrative lens consistently blurs elements of time and place, then zooms into scenes that uncover a common humanity.

Krauss often compresses or deepens time and setting in a few sentences. The unnamed, first-person narrator of "Switzerland" recalls a year spent at an international school where she witnessed rebellion and sex vicariously, through the escapades of her friends Marie and Soraya. The story is structured as a time capsule, a snow globe of ...

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