The award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The History of Love, conjures an achingly beautiful and breathtakingly original novel about personal transformation that interweaves the stories of two disparate individuals—an older lawyer and a young novelist—whose transcendental search leads them to the same Israeli desert.
Jules Epstein, a man whose drive, avidity, and outsized personality have, for sixty-eight years, been a force to be reckoned with, is undergoing a metamorphosis. In the wake of his parents’ deaths, his divorce from his wife of more than thirty years, and his retirement from the New York legal firm where he was a partner, he’s felt an irresistible need to give away his possessions, alarming his children and perplexing the executor of his estate. With the last of his wealth, he travels to Israel, with a nebulous plan to do something to honor his parents. In Tel Aviv, he is sidetracked by a charismatic American rabbi planning a reunion for the descendants of King David who insists that Epstein is part of that storied dynastic line. He also meets the rabbi’s beautiful daughter who convinces Epstein to become involved in her own project—a film about the life of David being shot in the desert—with life-changing consequences.
But Epstein isn’t the only seeker embarking on a metaphysical journey that dissolves his sense of self, place, and history. Leaving her family in Brooklyn, a young, well-known novelist arrives at the Tel Aviv Hilton where she has stayed every year since birth. Troubled by writer’s block and a failing marriage, she hopes that the hotel can unlock a dimension of reality—and her own perception of life—that has been closed off to her. But when she meets a retired literature professor who proposes a project she can’t turn down, she’s drawn into a mystery that alters her life in ways she could never have imagined.
Bursting with life and humor, Forest Dark is a profound, mesmerizing novel of metamorphosis and self-realization—of looking beyond all that is visible towards the infinite.
Krauss’s elegant, provocative, and mesmerizing novel is her best yet…A fascinating tour de force.
A brilliant novel.
I am full of admiration.
Entrancing and mysterious…Krauss reflects with singing emotion and sagacity on Jewish history; war; the ancient, plundered forests of the Middle East; and the paradoxes of being. A resounding look at the enigmas of the self and the persistence of the past.
— Donna Seaman
Wildly imaginative, darkly humorous and deeply personal, this novel seems to question the very nature of time and space. Krauss commands our attention, and serious readers will applaud.
Nicole Krauss confirms her reputation as one of the great living American writers in this bravura novel...Witty, unusual and deeply moving, Forest Dark is a profound and constantly engaging novel of metamorphosis and empathy, one that will be one of the most praised of 2017.
Nicole Krauss is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, Great House, a finalist for the National Book Award and Orange Prize, and The History of Love, which won the Saroyan Prize for International Literature and France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, and was short-listed for the Orange, Medicis, and Femina Prizes. Her first novel, Man Walks Into a Room, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. She was selected as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists in 2007, and named to the New Yorker’s Twenty Under Forty list in 2010. Her fiction has been published in the New Yorker, Harper’s Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories, and her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.