Title Profile & Character Information

Far Euphrates

Annotation
"Blending the everyday with the mystical, the mundane with the extraordinary, and the waking world with the world of dreams, The Far Euphrates is the story of Alexander, the lonely son of a rabbi in Windsor, Canada, whose small world is made up of his parents and the Cantor and the Cantor's wife. As a young boy Alexander is told a secret he cannot bear to know, and as a result, he attempts to accumulate as much knowledge as he can, as if he might then be able to unlock the secrets of the universe itself." "Alexander fills his solitary existence with stories: the legend of his great-grandfather, a rare-book dealer, who left his family in Frankfurt to travel to what was once ancient Mesopotamia as tutor to an exiled Persian prince; tales of flying carpets and djins in bottles; the dark fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm; Bible stories - the creation of the universe, Lot's wife, the Tower of Babel. And yet Alexander's real life is touched by an array of people as strange and memorable as those in any story: a dying wealthy girl who bequeaths to him a valuable sapphire; the stunning young wife of Henry Ford II; a Gypsy prophetess whose cryptic words change forever his view of his mother; and the Cantor's twin sister, who with the Cantor was a victim of Auschwitz's Dr. Mengele. As the inner stories of his imagination give shape and meaning to the stories that he lives, and as the realities around him begin to impinge on his imagination, Alexander must learn to recognize certain truths that he is reluctant to accept." "In translucent prose, Aryeh Lev Stollman has created a stunning portrait of the coming of age of a young man's soul. And yet the novel is more. Through the story of a lonely boy, The Far Euphrates questions how we can find meaning in a post-Holocaust world; how we define the notion of home in our modern time; where the boundaries lie between sanity, madness, and transcendence; and what our responsibilities are to ourselves and to one another. Infused with a rich mystical and scientific understanding, it poignantly addresses the insatiable human longing to know and reclaim our origins, the mythic far Euphrates of Eden, to which we can never return."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Awards
1998  Lambda Literary Awards
1998  American Library Association Notable Books