A writer's search for his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original and riveting epic, brilliantly exploring the nature of time and memory.
`The Lost' begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust - an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relative's fates. The quest takes him to a dozen countries and forces him to confront the wrenching discrepancies between the histories we live and the stories we tell. Finally, he goes back to the small Ukrainian town where his family's story began, and where the solution to a decades-old mystery awaits him.
Deftly moving between past and present, interweaving a world-wandering odyssey with memories of a vanished generation, `The Lost' transforms the story of one family into a profound and morally searching study of our fragile hold on the past. Deeply personal, grippingly suspenseful and beautifully written, this literary tour de force illuminates all that is lost, and found, in the passage of time.
Daniel Mendelsohn was born in Long Island and educated at the University of Virginia and at Princeton. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books as well as the New York Times Magazine and the New York Times Book Review, and is contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. His first book, `The Elusive Embrace', was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. He teaches at Bard College.