War Story

War Story

  • Hardback
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'Later he would say: I met you in a whorehouse. Or was it an all night poker game. I met you in a bookstore, Kitty would remind him. In a bookstore? Impossible. I never set foot in bookstores. What nonsense. I found you in a bordello. You were only fourteen. Thirty two. Then you lied about your age, you strumpet. How can I have anything to do with you? You monster, she murmured, tugging at his hair. He had always to find the better story'. Kitty meets Joseph in a New York bookstore. He is a famous playwright, an Austrian Jew who has survived the Holocaust, travelled the world and now, at sixty, lives in a faded, bohemian hotel in downtown Manhattan (a hotel he tells her, for madmen and artists). In his dusty, book-stacked room they begin an erotic and all consuming affair. Part monster, part victim, Joseph is egotistical, cruel, charming and brilliant. Day after day he spins for Kitty stories of his childhood in Amsterdam hiding from the Nazis, the triumphs and failures of his work, and, above all, the countless women he has adored, used - and left. One day, he assures her, he will leave her too..." War Story" is both the tale of an extraordinary passion and a stunning portrait of one man haunted by the ghosts of his past.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 129 x 198mm | 320g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0747557314
  • 9780747557319

Review quote

Wonderfully atmospheric first novel by an American who lives in Paris. Kitty, a young Jewish woman, meets Joseph, who is much older, in a New York bookstore, though afterwards he fantasises about other places he may have met her. He is a famous playwright who has also written three well-known novels. Born in Vienna, Joseph is an Austrian Jew who left aged 11 for Holland. Now, aged 60, having met Kitty, he carries her off to his seedy downtown Manhattan hotel and makes violent love to her. In his dusty book-filled room they begin an erotic affair. Joseph tells her of his childhood in Amsterdam with a foster family, how he hides from the Nazis and of the women he has loved. He is clever, egotistical and charming, and all this we learn from Kitty's memory of him whilst travelling to his funeral. She is now living a totally different life. Beautifully written, passionate, sensual, and not least very moving.show more

About Gwen Edelman

Gwen Edelman is an American who lives in Paris. WAR STORY is her first novel.show more