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The Family Mashber, Der Nister (1939)

Who needs Tolstoy?

Dara Horn
September 17, 2013

A massive, thrilling novel that follows the Jews of the city of Berditshev from the 19th century to the eve of the Russian Revolution, The Family Mashber should erase all nostalgia for the Eastern European Jewish world. Written under Soviet censorship, the author nonetheless captures how anti-Semitism and zealotry (whether religious or, in veiled terms, Communist) deformed Jewish life from within, through a single family’s financial and emotional destruction. A masterpiece.

Dara Horn is the author of five novels, most recently Eternal Life.

Dara Horn is the award-winning author of five novels and the essay collection People Love Dead Jews.