For twenty-five years, a reclusive American novelist has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young Chilean poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinochetís secret police; one day a girl claiming to be the poetís daughter arrives to take it away, sending the writerís life reeling. Across the ocean, in the leafy suburbs of London, a man caring for his dying wife discovers, among her papers, a lock of hair that unravels a terrible secret. In Jerusalem, an antiques dealer slowly reassembles his fatherís study, plundered by the Nazis in Budapest in 1944.
Connecting these stories is a desk of many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or have given it away. As the narrators of Great House make their confessions, the desk takes on more and more meaning, and comes finally to stand for all that has been taken from them, and all that binds them to what has disappeared.
Great House is a story haunted by questions: What do we pass on to our children and how do they absorb our dreams and losses? How do we respond to disappearance, destruction, and change?
Nicole Krauss has written a soaring, powerful novel about memory struggling to create a meaningful permanence in the face of inevitable loss.
Nicole Krauss is the author of the international bestseller The History of Love, which was published by W. W. Norton in 2005. It won the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and France's Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, and was short-listed for the Orange, Medicis, and Femina prizes. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Harper's Esquire, and Best American Short Stories, and her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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