The Shop on Main Street

Ladislav Grosman

The Shop on Main Street

Ladislav Grosman

Distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University

150 pages | 5 x 7 1/2
Paper $12.00 ISBN: 9788024640228 Published November 2019 Not for sale in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic
Written by a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, The Shop on Main Street is the story that inspired the highly successful Academy Award–winning Czechoslovak film of the same title. Looking at the Holocaust through the eyes of a complicit individual, the narrative follows a good-natured carpenter living in a Slovak town in 1942 who unwittingly becomes a participant in a moral crisis involving the abuse and persecution of Jews. Describing the film adaptation of Ladislav Grosman’s novel, the New York Times declared that it is a “human drama that is a moving manifest of the dark dilemma that confronted all people who were caught as witnesses to Hitler's terrible crime.” The review continues: “‘Is one his brother's keeper?’ is the thundering question the situation asks, and then, ‘Are not all men brothers?’ The answer given is a grim acknowledgement. But the unfolding of the drama is simple, done in casual, homely, humorous terms—until the terrible, heartbreaking resolution of the issue at the end.”
Review Quotes
Marcela Sulak, Bar-Ilan University
“A simple Slovak carpenter is caught up in the activities of the fascist Hlinka Guard. This comical and terrifying portrait is both banal and transcendent. That is, The Shop on Main Street is narrated in such a style of which dreams and daily life are made; it circles the unanswerable question that, nonetheless, demands an answer: what are you willing to risk to recognize the humanity of your neighbor? A question that has, unfortunately, become increasingly relevant today.”
Anna Hájková, University of Warwick
“Along with Škvorecký and Fuks, Grosman belongs to the key authors of Czech postwar literature dealing with the Holocaust. Written with great sensitivity and attention to the little people, The Shop on Main Street examines the actions of an ordinary man in extraordinary times.”
Ján Kádar, codirector of the Academy Award–winning film adaptation of Grosman’s "The Shop on Main Street"
“Grosman’s short novel The Trap, later called The Shop on Main Street, attracted Klos and myself by its special angle of truthfulness, the tragicomedy of the story, and the author’s humanistic approach.”
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