Flames from the Earth: A Novel from the Lódz Ghetto by Isaiah Spiegel

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Description

Translated by Julian Levinson 

An emotionally powerful, poetic Yiddish novel, available in English for the first time, that expands our understanding of Holocaust literature and testimony

Flames from the Earth: A Novel from the Łódź Ghetto is an autobiographical novel written by Isaiah Spiegel, one of the most revered Yiddish authors to survive the Holocaust. Originally published in Israel in 1966, the novel brings together material that Spiegel wrote while imprisoned in the Łódź Ghetto, which he recovered from a cellar when he returned from Auschwitz after the war. The only works by Spiegel previously available to English readers have been short stories.

In this, his first novel, Spiegel explores a complex web of characters in and around the Łódź Ghetto: Vigdor and Gitele, lovers who are involved in the ghetto resistance movement; Nicodem, a Polish priest, who hides a member of the Jewish underground; Stefan Kaczmarek, a Polish tavern keeper who betrays Nicodem to preserve his own smuggling business; Franz Jessike, a Nazi guard who blackmails local Poles for personal gain; and Chaim Vidaver, the heroic leader of the ghetto resistance. Based largely on historical events, the novel’s lyrical style echoes its emotional intensity.

Gripping and atmospheric, 
Flames from the Earth honors daring acts of heroism and human connections forged amid unthinkable conditions. Spiegel’s novel represents an important contribution to the archive of literary depictions of historical trauma.

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