Not Me is a remarkable debut novel that tells the dramatic and surprising stories of two men–father and son–through sixty years of uncertain memory, distorted history, and assumed identity.
When Heshel Rosenheim, apparently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, hands his son, Michael, a box of moldy old journals, an amazing adventure begins–one that takes the reader from the concentration camps of Poland to an improbable love story during the battle for Palestine, from a cancer ward in New Jersey to a hopeless marriage in San Francisco. The journals, which seem to tell the story of Heshel’s life, are so harrowing, so riveting, so passionate, and so perplexing that Michael becomes obsessed with discovering the truth about his father.
As Michael struggles to come to grips with his father’s elusive past, a world of complex and disturbing possibilities opens up to him–a world in which an accomplice to genocide may have turned into a virtuous Jew and a young man cannot recall murdering the person he loves most; a world in which truth is fiction and fiction is truth and one man’s terrible–or triumphant–transformation calls history itself into question. Michael must then solve the biggest riddle of all: Who am I?
Intense, vivid, funny, and entirely original, Not Me is an unsparing and unforgettable examination of faith, history, identity, and love.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: Not Me|
|Release Date: 02-13-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Not Me|
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The last person in the world I wanted to know about was my father. I did not want to know if he had lovers. I did not want to know if he took diuretics. I certainly did not want to know if he liked to masturbate, or if, even occasionally, he fantasized about teenage boys. It was of absolutely no interest to me if he cheated at bridge, or if his secret ambition was to become a ballet dancer, or if he had an obsession with women’s shoes, or if he washed his body with lemon, or if he hit my mother (especially, God forbid, if she liked it). So when I was presented with twenty-four volumes of journals, each bound with a rubber band so old it was as brittle as the leather cover it held together, and was told, “These are your father’s, take them,” I was less than enthusiastic. Especially since it was my father who gave them to me.
“These are your father’s,” he said, “take them.”
“Dad,” I said, “you are my father.”
He looked at me quizzically. His eyes were like aspic. Cloudy. Beneath which something obscure, unappetizing.
“Where’s Karen?” he asked.
“Karen is dead,” I reminded him.
“That’s not true,” he said. “She was just here. I was speaking to her. Take these.”
With his feet, he pushed the box of journals toward my chair.
“All right,” I said, “I’ll take them. But I won’t read them.”
Then he turned away, and looked out the window.
“I’m waiting for F