Bearing the Body

Bearing the Body Growing up Daniel seemed like a model son a student activist blessed with easy charm and a fluid intelligence who believed that he was heir to a better and brighter future When that dream faded he

  • Title: Bearing the Body
  • Author: Ehud Havazelet
  • ISBN: 9780374299729
  • Page: 231
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Growing up, Daniel seemed like a model son a student activist blessed with easy charm and a fluid intelligence, who believed that he was heir to a better and brighter future When that dream faded, he drifted from his family and into a rootless life, marked by wasted possibility Bearing the Body begins when Daniel s younger brother, Nathan, a medical resident in BostGrowing up, Daniel seemed like a model son a student activist blessed with easy charm and a fluid intelligence, who believed that he was heir to a better and brighter future When that dream faded, he drifted from his family and into a rootless life, marked by wasted possibility Bearing the Body begins when Daniel s younger brother, Nathan, a medical resident in Boston, learns that Daniel has died in San Francisco The circumstances are unclear, and the police are involved Nathan, who suffers from chronic anger and uncontrollable compulsions, travels to New York to inform their father, Sol, of Daniel s death Sol is an Auschwitz survivor who has spent most of his adult energy compiling an archive of the fates of Hitler s victims Due in part to this obsessive research, he has lost touch with his sons He nevertheless decides to join Nathan on a trip to the West Coast, where both men hope to learn about Daniel s untimely death In San Francisco they meet Abby and her son, Ben, who were Daniel s companions in a life that his family never knew about or shared A moving study of isolation and its costs, Bearing the Body is a book about history and memory, about family and loss Most of all, it is a book about the past, which, far from receding quietly, weighs ever heavily on those who hope to leave it behind.

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      Published :2020-01-05T02:17:41+00:00

    About “Ehud Havazelet

    • Ehud Havazelet

      Havazalet was born in Jerusalem, Israel His father, Meir Havazalet, a rabbi and professor at Yeshiva University emigrated to the United States in 1957 He graduated from Columbia University in 1977, and received an M.F.A at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop in 1984 He became a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, from 1985 to 1989, and a Wallace Stegner Fellow He taught creative writing at Oregon State University from 1989 to 1999 Since 1999, he has taught creative writing at the University of Oregon.

    749 thoughts on “Bearing the Body

    • I read Bearing the Body for my Jewish Book Group. Last Sunday, about 30 of us met with the director of our Jewish Studies Program, who is also a professor of English literature, to discuss the book. Many people had a strong reaction to it -- positive and negative. Obviously, I occupy the positive camp but I believe that after the discussion, some who really didn't like the book came to admire it. Bearing the Body is Ehud Havazelet's third book and first novel. He spent ten years writing it. And [...]


    • Havazelet has a pronounced literary tic: he repeatedly creates an ambiguous situation using indirect references and a mystifying lack of pronouns . only to neatly resolve said situation a chapter or two later. It happened so many times that I finally gave up in surrender. That said, there is nothing about the family dynamic that begs credulity.




    • Questo libro lo comprai forse più di un anno fa in una scampagnata libresca a Varese. Non mi ricordavo nemmeno di averlo. Poi poche sere fa il titolo accalappia, quali configurazioni associative si siano messe in atto restano per il momento inconsce, e magari continueranno a restarlo. Credo che il libro lo comprai perché l’autore, a me allora sconosciuto, é israeliano e io nutro interesse per la letteratura israeliana.La scrittura é molto densa, pastosa, immaginifica, la storia é di quell [...]


    • Bearing the Body, by Ehud Havazelet, is an intense look at family dynamics and the after-effects of the Holocaust in relation to the silence of the survivors, survivors trying to quietly assimilate in a new environment. Often times the events of the past are so horrific and traumatic, that they are difficult for one to bear. Havazelet has a deep comprehension of this.Dysfunction reigns, and rains, heavily, through the clouds of family dynamics. Silence resounds loudly, echoing fragments of the p [...]


    • It took me over a month to get through this book, and for good reason. It did not flow smoothly at all. The plot synopsis mentioned that the main character's father, Sol, is a Holocaust survivor, and I expected that to come into play much more in the novel. There was one incredibly haunting and painfully vivid passage to read of Sol's memories from a camp near the end of the novel that definitely moved me. However, most of the rest of the book was unenjoyable. The characters all seemed stilted a [...]


    • 2.5 stars, really. The book had flashes of brilliance in the writing, and the premise of the story-- an estranged brother/son who had become a drug addict found murdered, the remaining son and father going out to collect the remains-- had great potential, but for me the book fell short. I found the characters rather two dimensional, and none likable. I have nothing against unlikable characters (Chekhov and Nabokov come to mind), but even so, I have to have some reason to commit to them, to follo [...]


    • What does a father do when his memories, his youth, are too horrendous to share with his sons? When in order to function, to take care of the physical needs of his family he must shut off his past behind walls of steely resolve? When shutting off that past also means he shuts off any kind of expression of love and caring leaving him with only an endless reserve of anger? And what of the sons? Which would be more terrible for them, the feeling that their father does not love them or the nightmare [...]


    • I love books that make me change my mind about characters. I love stories in which good and evil sit side by side in people. I like to read books that explore relationships and families in all their clumsiness and imperfection. I also have a soft spot for stories that accurately portray the inner world of children. So, yes, I loved this book.Sometimes I wanted the men in Ehud's novel to be more likable, and I couldn't help but wish that they would tell each other the secrets we, the readers, kne [...]


    • I really really enjoyed this book. Although "enjoyed" might not be the proper way to describe such a sad novel. Each character has suffered through loss, heartache, and the confusion of their past. The story shows how if you don't talk about your past or what is on your mind it can hurt you and the people you love. As you go through life and the simplest things remind you of loss, but if you aren't willing to talk about it then no one can understand you or get close to you. How a pile of shoes c [...]


    • This is a very sad book. The characters are all hopelessly miserable. The writing is very, very good, but I found that I could not read too much at a time because I had to come up for air, out from the despairing darkness. The atmosphere is extremely well developed, details, thoughts, emotions, are all there. I found it slightly irritating that the author would change the place, or the time, or the viewpoint, without any clear clues, so it would sometimes be a couple of paragraphs before I worke [...]


    • I'm torn between two stars and three. I just can't can't can't stand Sol (the father character). I've read too too too many books with the delightfully-childlike-rapidly-deteriorating-distant father to find the character of this one original.On the other hand, I'm very interested in the story of the two brothers, Daniel and Nathan, and I think that both of them are depicted pretty realistically. The girlfriend of Daniel, Abby, is also pretty interesting.His writing style is pretty good, too.In c [...]


    • I debated between 2 and 3 stars on this one. I guess there's a sad inevitability that the holocaust survivor parents want the All American wonderful life for their two sons, yet by keeping their family history from the kids, they've done them a huge disservice and don't understand the boys' lack of humanity in actions later in their life. It's so tragic, these stories about fathers and sons especially not being open and honest with each other to the detriment of both sides.


    • While the themes and ending of this book were admirable, it was a little hard for me to follow, personally. My interests remained solely with Sol, the wandering Holocaust survivor, having been unable to tell his children of the horrors and trauma he went through. For a better understanding of this novel, however, take note that knowledge of how Jewish folks have been perceived by the larger society in this time period is helpful, as the author critiques some of these perceptions.


    • Heartbreaking and beautiful. Holocaust survivors and the silence before their offspring and the echoes of wounds that are passed from one generation to another. It's deeply felt and compassionate. My favorite line: "Didn't they know? Didn't they know that the only sins you will not be forgiven are the ones you commit against yourself?"


    • The writing was beautiful, but overall, I was bored. And most of the book took place in San Francisco, which the author couldn't manage to get right in terms of the weather. The characters were constantly complaining about the heat, but then mentioning the fog in the same paragraph, and I found that distracting.


    • This had some promise, but fell short. The changing points of view lost me a few times and a lot of effort has been made on less interesting parts of the story. I couldn't wait to finish, but not in a good way. I just wanted the experience to be over.


    • A book about a family that is slow to learn what family should be about. Father is a holocaust survivor that passes his view of life to his sons. Characters very well portrayed and all deeply troubled.


    • Well written, but a bit tedious. Too much endless suffering. However, interesting topic about survivors of holocaust who have children who can't manage to have successful intimate relationships and get into substance abuse.





    • Tender and full of great characters. Characters that move you and are so deply human you swear you watching them through the window of your house.


    • The trauma/horror of the Holocaust effects on the next generation are heavy. This has been a tough book to read, but hard to put down.




    • Insightful and interesting look into the world of a young Jewish man, his father and the brother he has to discover and bury.




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