The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million
A writer's search for his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original and riveting epic, brilliantly exploring the nature of time and memory. 'The Lost' begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust - an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relative's fates. The quest takes him to a dozen countries and forces him to confront the wrenching discrepancies between the histories we live and the stories we tell. Finally, he goes back to the small Ukrainian town where his family's story began, and where the solution to a decades-old mystery awaits him. Deftly moving between past and present, interweaving a world-wandering odyssey with memories of a vanished generation, 'The Lost' transforms the story of one family into a profound and morally searching study of our fragile hold on the past. Deeply personal, grippingly suspenseful and beautifully written, this literary tour de force illuminates all that is lost, and found, in the passage of time.
'Daniel Mendelsohn has written a powerfully moving work of a 'lost' family past, reminiscent of the richly expansive prose works of Proust and the elusive texts of W.G. Sebald. A remarkable achievement.' Joyce Carol Oates 'Epic and personal, meditative and suspenseful, tragic and at times hilarious, "The Lost" is a wonderful book.'Jonathan Safran Foer 'A stirring detective work in its own right, "The Lost" is set in the context of stories of the enigmatic interventions of God in human affairs, and deepened by reflections on the inescapable, incomprehensible part that chance plays in history.' J.M.Coetzee 'A gripping detective story, a stirring epic, a tale of ghosts and dark marvels, a thrilling display of scholarship, a meditation on the unfathomable mystery of good and evil, 'The Lost' is as complex and rich with meaning and story as the past it seeks to illuminate. A beautiful book, beautifully written' Michael Chabon '(Mendelsohn) is a brilliant storyteller, influenced by the Greek masters he so admires, eschewing the chronological, looping forward and back, teasing the reader with hints of what the gods may have in store.' Sunday Times
Daniel Mendelsohn was born in Long Island and educated at the University of Virginia and at Princeton. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books as well as the New York Times Magazine and the New York Times Book Review, and is contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. His first book, 'The Elusive Embrace', was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. He teaches at Bard College.