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The Journey by Ida Fink
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The Journey (1990)

by Ida Fink

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Ida Fink is the author ofA Scrap of Time ("remarkable,"New York Times) andThe Journey ("a gift," theNew Yorker). Born in Poland in 1921, she lived in a ghetto throughout 1942 and went into hiding until the of the war.

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English (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (3)
With this deeply moving, masterfully controlled novel, Fink, a Jewish writer who was born in Poland in 1921, continues her exploration of survival during the Holocaust (begun in the story collection A Scrap of Time ). Two Jewish sisters armed only with poorly forged papers escape a Polish ghetto; their real names are never given, and the narrator, the older sister, instead uses the various aliases they assume. Posing as Christians, they report to a transit camp to be sent to work in Germany. Danger is never far from them, however, and they are forced into a series of escapes and changes of identity. Fink excels at locating the tiny details that carry fatal consequences: Polish factory workers, suspecting the sisters, challenge them to sing Christmas carols; a farmhand doesn't contradict the narrator's claim to be an experienced milkmaid even when he sees the raw blisters on her hands; the narrator, still posing as a peasant, must concoct a cover story after she impulsively plays Chopin's "Polonaise" on the piano. The author's restrained, unsurprised tones suggest how routine, how everyday the brutalities of the Nazi regime must have seemed, even to its victims. Deceptively fluid, Fink's novel is utterly chilling.

As in her collection A Scrap of Time ( LJ 8/87), winner of the first Anne Frank Prize for Literature, Fink tells the story of Holocaust survivors, portraying the lives of ordinary people as they are forced to confront the unimaginable.
  antimuzak | Nov 1, 2005 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ida Finkprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bortkiewicz, ElzbietaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vidal, Juan CarlosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374701245, Paperback)
Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
With this deeply moving, masterfully controlled novel, Fink, a Jewish writer who was born in Poland in 1921, continues her exploration of survival during the Holocaust (begun in the story collection A Scrap of Time ). Two Jewish sisters armed only with poorly forged papers escape a Polish ghetto; their real names are never given, and the narrator, the older sister, instead uses the various aliases they assume. Posing as Christians, they report to a transit camp to be sent to work in Germany. Danger is never far from them, however, and they are forced into a series of escapes and changes of identity. Fink excels at locating the tiny details that carry fatal consequences: Polish factory workers, suspecting the sisters, challenge them to sing Christmas carols; a farmhand doesn't contradict the narrator's claim to be an experienced milkmaid even when he sees the raw blisters on her hands; the narrator, still posing as a peasant, must concoct a cover story after she impulsively plays Chopin's "Polonaise" on the piano. The author's restrained, unsurprised tones suggest how routine, how everyday the brutalities of the Nazi regime must have seemed, even to its victims. Deceptively fluid, Fink's novel is utterly chilling.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
As in her collection A Scrap of Time ( LJ 8/87), winner of the first Anne Frank Prize for Literature, Fink tells the story of Holocaust survivors, portraying the lives of ordinary people as they are forced to confront the unimaginable. In 1942, two Jewish sisters flee the Polish ghetto disguised as peasants. They risk their lives on a journey into enemy territory to look for work in the factories, farms, and villages of wartime Germany, in increasing danger as the Gestapo's cruel search for Jews with false papers intensifies. The author offers extraordinary insights into the lives of people in hiding: how they distinguish friends from enemies, maintain their identities, and survive in a world gone mad. Despite her grim subject matter, she champions human loyalty and remains sensitive to the beauty of the landscape. This beautifully written novel masterfully achieves a tenuous balance between power and restraint.
-Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, Md.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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