Elsewhere, Doron Rabinovici
By Doron Rabinovici
Haus Publishing, 2014
Why does the Israeli academic Ethan Rosen condemn an article he himself has written? Doesn’t he recognize his own words? How can he condemn his colleague Rudi Klausinger as an anti-Semite while voicing the same criticisms of the teaching of the Holocaust himself? Rosen and Klausinger are academic rivals, competing for the same professorship. Though both distinguished scholars, they could not be more different – or could they? Ethan should feel at home in Israel and Austria, but feels he belongs in neither. Similarly displaced, high-flying Rudi has never known who his father is, and his quest to find him leads him to Israel and to the Rosens, where Ethan’s father, an old Viennese Jew and Auschwitz survivor, is in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Identity, belonging, anti-Semitism and Zionism – Elsewhere confronts complex themes through the prism of a Jewish family in which old secrets are disclosed and the truth is seemingly forever concealed. At the end of this compelling novel nothing remains certain as Ethan discovers that home is often the place that feels most unfamiliar.
“A sophisticated, attractive book. . . . Like the best Jewish comic novelists, from Philip Roth to Howard Jacobson, Rabinovici excels at communicating the too-muchness of Jewish experience, the sensation of being bombarded by insoluble questions—about Israel, the Holocaust, religious belief, family obligation.”
Times of Israel
“A compelling story, with believable characters and a twisting narrative that grabs the reader right from the first page.”
Doron Rabinovici, Elsewhere