History Thieves

Zinovy Zinik

History Thieves

Zinovy Zinik

Distributed for Seagull Books

112 pages | 45 color plates | 4 1/4 x 7 | © 2010
Cloth $14.95 ISBN: 9781906497781 Published February 2011 World sales rights except India

Coming from a thoroughly secular Soviet background, the Russian-British novelist Zinovy Zinik became aware for the first time of his “Jewishness” when he emigrated to Israel in the 1970s. In this stylistically innovative autobiographical taleZinik describes how an unheimliche experience in Berlin—of seeing for real the house he dreamed about many years before in London–led him to investigate the chequered and enigmatic past of his Russian-born grandfather, who, while ostensibly practicing as a doctor in Lithuania, was building the Soviet empire from which Zinik tried to escape 50 years later.

In the manner of the classic detective story, Zinik’s meditation on “assumed identity” and “plagiarized past” culminates in the notion of recognition as a redeeming factor, suggesting that it is not only central to the twentieth-century Jewish experience or even the wider world of émigrés, exiles and migrants of all kinds, but to the human condition itself.


Dwarf Long Nose

By the Rivers of Babylon

Among the Believers

An Ex-isle’s Dream

The Dream as Shadow

The Grandparents’ Larder

Across the River into the Past

Beyond the Pale

Trophies of the Communal Past

The Act of Recognition

Review Quotes
Times Literary Supplement
“Around his wider reflections on race, identity and cultural memory, Zinik weaves a personal meditation on his distant past spurred by a series of Proustian prompts. . . . Pleasantly ruminative and crammed with witty observations.”
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