Forest Dark: A Novel

Category: Book
By (author): Krauss, Nicole
Subject:  FICTION / Cultural Heritage
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Jewish
  FICTION / Literary
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: August 2018
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 8.00in x 5.31in x 0.68in
Our Price:
$ 17.99
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

From Nicole Krauss, the award-winning, New York Times–bestselling author of The History of Love, an achingly beautiful novel about personal transformation that interweaves two stories: that of an older lawyer who disappears in the Israeli desert after abandoning his family and fortune, and that of a younger woman, a novelist, whose own quest takes her out of her conventional domestic life in New York and into the same Israeli desert.

Jules Epstein, a man whose drive, avidity and outsized personality have, for sixty-eight years, been a force to be reckoned with, is undergoing a metamorphosis. In the wake of his parents' deaths, his divorce from his wife of more than thirty years and his retirement from the legal firm where he was a partner, he's felt an irresistible need to give away his possessions-his money, his art collection, even his wristwatch-alarming his children and perplexing the executor of his estate. With the last of his wealth, he travels from New York to Israel, checking in at the Tel Aviv Hilton with a nebulous plan to do something in memory of his parents. His turn inward is briefly thwarted when he is sidetracked by a charismatic American rabbi, Menachem Klausner, who is planning a reunion for the descendants of King David and insists that Epstein is part of this storied dynastic line. Though dubious of Klausner's motives, Epstein finds himself drawn to the rabbi's sharp intellect and mystical ideas, and eventually gets involved in Klausner's real passion: a film about the life of David being shot in the desert.

But Epstein isn't the only one who checks into the Tel Aviv Hilton and begins a metaphysical journey that dissolves the sense of self, place, and history. In a parallel narrative told in alternating chapters, a young, well-known novelist leaves behind her two children and husband in Brooklyn and arrives at the Tel Aviv Hilton where she has stayed every year since she was born. Suffering from writer's block and a marriage on the rocks, she at first believes that the hotel might be the key to unlocking a dimension of reality-and her own perception of life-that has been closed off to her. But when she meets a retired professor of literature, Geizi Friedman, who proposes a project she can't turn down-the task of completing an unfinished script by her beloved Franz Kafka-and who reveals Kafka's surprising and unexpected connection to Israel, she's drawn into a mystery that alters her life in ways she could never have imagined.

Bursting with life, humour and passion, this is a profound, mesmerizing and very original novel that allows its protagonists to break through convention to find that spark of originality that is theirs alone.


Review Quote*"Masterful . . . Beguiling, brilliant."
Review Quote*"Forest Dark had me from the start . . . . The writing Krauss engages in deliberately straddles the frontiers of resonant fiction and recognizable self. It offers a vast space in which one can lose oneself, but it also supplies some level of closure to bring us back."
Review Quote*"A brilliant novel. I am full of admiration."
Review Quote*"Entrancing and mysterious . . . Krauss reflects with singing emotion and sagacity on Jewish history; war; the ancient, plundered forests of the Middle East; and the paradoxes of being. A resounding look at the enigmas of the self and the persistence of the past."
Review Quote*"Wildly imaginative, darkly humorous and deeply personal, this novel seems to question the very nature of time and space. Krauss commands our attention, and serious readers will applaud."
Review Quote*"Forest Dark finds Krauss at the top of her game. It is blazingly intelligent, elegantly written and a remarkable achievement."
Review Quote*"For all the ambitious scope of spiritual adventure and intellectual rumination, Forest Dark is most affecting in its quiet moments of domestic reflection."
Review Quote*"The feelings Epstein and Nicole have about their lives and loves feel hard-earned and true…The resonances between these characters are often profound. Both are searching for their true selves, an ocean away from the old lives that have tested their faith."                        
Review Quote*"Magnificent. . . . A richly layered masterpiece; creative, profound, insightful, deeply serious, effortlessly elegant, both human and humane. Krauss is a poet and a philosopher, and this latest work does what only the very best fiction can do-startles, challenges and enlightens the reader, while showing the familiar world anew."