The Betrayers (Hardcover)

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Description


Winner of the "National Jewish Book Award"
A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2014
A New Yorker Favorite Book of 2014
New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
These incandescent pages give us one fraught, momentous day in the life of Baruch Kotler, a Soviet Jewish dissident who now finds himself a disgraced Israeli politician. When he refuses to back down from a contrary but principled stand regarding the settlements in the West Bank, his political opponents expose his affair with a mistress decades his junior, and the besieged couple escapes to Yalta, the faded Crimean resort of Kotler's youth. There, shockingly, Kotler encounters the former friend whose denunciation sent him to the Gulag almost forty years earlier.
In a whirling twenty-four hours, Kotler must face the ultimate reckoning, both with those who have betrayed him and with those whom he has betrayed, including a teenage daughter, a son facing his own moral dilemma in the Israeli army, and the wife who once campaigned to secure his freedom and stood by him through so much.
Stubborn, wry, and self-knowing, Baruch Kotler is one of the great creations of contemporary fiction. An aging man grasping at a final passion, he is drawn inexorably into a crucible that is both personal and biblical in scope.
In prose that is elegant, sly, precise, and devastating in its awareness of the human heart, David Bezmozgis has rendered a story for the ages, an inquest into the nature of fate and consequence, love and forgiveness. "The Betrayers" is a high-wire act, a powerful tale of morality and sacrifice that will haunt readers long after they turn the final page.

About the Author


David Bezmozgis was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1973. His first book, Natasha and Other Stories, won a regional Commonwealth Writers Prize and was a 2004 New York Times Notable Book. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library. In 2010, he was named one of The New Yorker s 20 Under 40.

Praise For…


"This unforgettable novel squanders no words in its brilliant, deft depictions of love, of memory, of compassion-and, ultimately, despite its title, of loyalty."

-Edith Pearlman, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the National Book Award for Binocular Vision

"The Betrayers presents us with the novel-as-scalpel, a brilliant dissection of lives formed and deformed by tyranny, temptation, and the demands of conscience. Just when we think we've arrived at the heart of the story's moral complexity, Bezmozgis cuts again and lays bare yet another layer. It's harrowing, but also thrilling, to see our nature revealed with such unflinching precision. This outstanding novel not only shows Bezmozgis at the top of his form, but also definitively establishes him as one of the foremost writers of his generation."

--Ben Fountain, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and LA Times Book Prize and finalist for the National Book Award for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

"This unforgettable novel squanders no words in its brilliant, deft depictions of love, of memory, of compassion-and, ultimately, despite its title, of loyalty."

-Edith Pearlman, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the National Book Award for Binocular Vision

"In this taut, fierce, forensically insightful novel, David Bezmozgis explores the frictions between goodness and kindness, public and private virtue, forgiveness and forgetting. Compulsive and profound."—A. D. Miller, finalist for the Man Booker Award for Snowdrops

"The Betrayers is a moral thriller in the tradition of Bernard Malamud, but the generosity, grace, and wisdom of the writing belong entirely to David Bezmozgis. The magic of fiction is that it makes the reader care deeply about imaginary strangers, and Bezmozgis is a magician."—Aleksandar Hemon

PRAISE FOR NATASHA AND OTHER STORIES:

"Dazzling, hilarious, and hugely compassionate narratives [written with] freshness and precision ... Readers will find themselves laughing out loud, then gasping as Bezmozgis brings these fictions to the searing, startling, and perfectly pitched conclusions that remind us that, as Babel said, 'no iron can stab the heart so powerfully as a period put in exactly in the right place.'"—Francine Prose, People

"Scary good...Not a line or note in the book rings false."—Esquire

"Extraordinary...[Recalls] the work of Babel, Roth, Saul Bellow, and so many others. Yet Bezmozgis makes these characters, and the state of marginality itself, uniquely his. This hysterical, merciless, yet open-hearted excavation of a Jewish family in the process of assimilating gives his literary predecessors a run for their money."—Daniel Schifrin, Los Angeles Times Book Review

PRAISE FOR THE FREE WORLD:

"Self-assured, elegant, and perceptive. . . [Bezmozgis] has created an unflinchingly honest, evenhanded and multilayered retelling of the Jewish immigrant story that steadfastly refuses to sentimentalize or malign the Old World or the New. Sholem Aleichem might well feel proud. And perhaps so too might Philip Roth and Leonard Michaels."—Adam Langer, New York Times

"Thought-provoking . . . powerfully realized, absorbing, and old-fashioned in satisfying ways."—Boston Globe

"Bezmozgis overturns our cliched expectations of immigrant idealism . . . Strikingly, he never pretends that his confused, self-interested characters are admirable, virtuous or even likable, but he respects them nonetheless. His book pays tribute to their tenacity and to their sometimes accidental courage . . . Bezmozgis laces even his darkest humor with pathos. While his depictions don't flatter his subjects, they honor them by conveying each person's individual history, motivations and truth."—Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316284332
ISBN-10: 0316284335
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Publication Date: September 23rd, 2014
Pages: 240
Language: English