Helen Schulman   The Revisionist  
Helen Schulman    

The Revisionist: an excerpt

  The deftness with which Schulman handles a very difficult subject, the Holocaust and its repercussions, is mesmerizing. While the author considers The Revisionist first and foremost a love story, readers may find themselves most intrigued by what she calls "a legacy that is learned, not earned." In other words, the generation after the Holocaust is one that carries its own complex emotional and psychological trauma. Two recent novels, The Reader by Bernhard Schlink and The Luneburg Variation by Paolo Maurensig, deal with the same subject in an equally powerful way. Each of these books is informed by and bears the mark of the author's cultural background (Schlink is German, Maurensig is Italian). When reading The Revisionist, one feels that Schulman has written a decidedly American story about the weight of the Holocaust's legacy on her protagonist's life. Schulman makes you feel as if you are reading a funny, poignant, entertaining story about one man's self-discovery-and indeed this is a big part of the story-but the humor, the personal detail, the inflection slyly veil the larger issue. The book will become stronger in your mind every day after you put it down.

In this issue of Bold Type you'll find an excerpt from The Revisionist and an essay from the author on the genesis of her novel.

Bold Type
  Photo of Helen Schulman copyright © Walter Smith

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