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Two Lives

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  • Binding : Paper Back
  • Language : English

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Two Lives

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Binding :   Paper Back
Language :   English
From The New Yorker//Equally at home producing a novel in sonnets or a cornucopian family saga, Seth has few equals as a literary technician. Here he turns to the story of Shanti and Henny, a great-uncle and great-aunt with whom he lived for a time in England. Shanti, an Indian dentist who did some training in Germany, lost an arm while serving in a British Army dental unit during the Second World War. His wife was a German Jew who fled to England in 1939, and whose mother and sister perished in concentration camps. The book is less dazzling than its predecessors, but this seems deliberate, as if Seth had adopted the mantle of dutiful family archivist a little too successfully. Nonetheless, his quiet tone has cumulative power as it leads us back in time from suburban calm to the death chambers of Birkenau. Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker// From Booklist//*Starred Review* Seth is the author of the hugely popular novel A Suitable Boy (1993), and with the same attention to atmospheric detail and nuance of character he brought to that book, he now offers a deeply engaging dual biography of his great-uncle and great-aunt. At age 17, Seth journeyed from his native Calcutta to London to prepare for study at Oxford, and while in the British capital, he became acquainted with his two relatives--his uncle, an Indian like himself and a dentist, and his aunt, a German-born Jew--both of whom lived in London, though they had found their way there through much different paths. After writing A Suitable Boy, Seth decided to approach Two Lives not so much as a personal remembrance as a researched life history of the couple. So, as if one of their stories weren\t rich enough, we get two--three, really, since the process of Seth\s learning about his uncle\s and aunt\s lives and revivifying them as a dual narrative adds up to a third storyline. These two individuals, from widely divergent religious and cultural backgrounds, bring together on a larger plane two important national stories of the twentieth century: India during the years of division between and discord among Hindus and Muslims, and Germany under the anti-Semitic Nazi regime. As well as offering an insightful exploration of those broad themes, this beautiful book delivers a passionate answer to a more personal but timeless question of human relations: How do two people ever manage to end up together? Brad HooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved// See all Product Description

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