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A Mad Desire to Dance

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Description

From Elie Wiesel, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and one of our fiercest moral voices, a provocative and deeply thoughtful new novel about a life shaped by the worst horrors of the twentieth century and one man’s attempt to reclaim happiness.

Doriel, a European expatriate living in New York, suffers from a profound sense of desperation and loss. His mother, a member of the Resistance, survived World War II only to die in an accident, together with his father, soon after. Doriel was a child during the war, and his knowledge of the Holocaust is largely limited to what he finds in movies, newsreels, and books—but it is enough. Doriel’s parents and their secrets haunt him, leaving him filled with longing but unable to experience the most basic joys in life. He plunges into an intense study of Judaism, but instead of finding solace, he comes to believe that he is possessed by a dybbuk.

Surrounded by ghosts, spurred on by demons, Doriel finally turns to Dr. Thérèse Goldschmidt, a psychoanalyst who finds herself particularly intrigued by her patient. The two enter into an uneasy relationship based on exchange: of dreams, histories, and secrets. Despite Doriel’s initial resistance, Dr. Goldschmidt helps to bring him to a crossroads—and to a shocking denouement.

In Doriel’s journey into the darkest regions of the soul, Elie Wiesel has written one of his most profoundly moving works of fiction, grounded always by his unparalleled moral compass.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

24 November 2008 – Nobel laureate Wiesel (Night) grapples with questions of madness, sadness and memory in this difficult but powerful novel. Doriel Waldman, a Polish Jew born in 1936, survived the occupation in hiding with his father while his mother made a reputation for herself in the Polish resistance. But he did not escape tragedy: his two siblings were murdered and his parents died in an accident shortly after the war. At the novel's opening, he is 60 years old, miserable, alone and on the verge of insanity. Most of the novel unfolds in the office of Doriel's shrink, Dr. Thérèse Goldschmidt, where he reveals himself to be an uncooperative patient, and his aggressive, obsessive rants on the origins of his troubles make for difficult reading. But Wiesel handles the situation expertly, and as Thérèse draws Doriel out, a multilayered narrative emerges: the journey through sadness and toward redemption; a meditation on the hand dealt to Holocaust survivors; and a valuable parable on the wages of human trauma. While the novel is not always easy sledding, there are ample rewards—intellectual and visceral—for the willing reader.
A Mad Desire to Dance
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  • 12,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: 17 February 2009
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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