A novel that probes moral devastation following a Nazi retaliation in a Dutch town. The Assault has been translated and published to great critical acclaim throughout Europe and in the United States.
It is the winter of 1945, the last dark days of the ware in occupied Holland. A Nazi collaborator, infamous for his cruelty, is assassinated as he rides on his bicycle. The Germans retaliate by slaughtering an innocent family: only the youngest son, twelve-year-old Anton, survives.
The Assault traces the complex repercussions of this nightmarish event on Anton's life. Determined not to forget, he opts for a carefully normal existence—a prudent marriage, a successful career, and colorless passivity. But the past keeps breaking through, in relentless memories and in chance encounters with the other actors in the drama, until Anton finally learns what really happened that night in 1945, and why.
About Harry Mulisch
Harry Mulisch is one of Holland’s most important writers. Born in 1927 in Haarlem to a Jewish mother whose family died in the concentration camps, and an Austrian father who was jailed after the war for collaborating with the Nazis, Mulisch felt a particularly charged connection with the Second World War, frequently the subject of his work. He has received Holland’s highest awards for his novels, plays, poems, and essays. The Assault has been translated and published to great critical acclaim throughout Europe and in the United States.
“A beautiful and powerful work…takes its place among the finest European fiction of our time.” —Elizabeth Hardwick
“A political thriller that removes the postwar scar tissue protecting society…a psychological thriller probing the moral devastation between neighbors, fellow students, husbands and wives…It is Mr. Mulisch’s triumph to have revealed all this…with an x-ray cunning.” —The New York Times Book Review