Aharon Appelfeld: Blooms of Darkness

(Fiction, 279 pp. Hebrew, 2006; English Translation, 2010)

When the Nazis begin to liquidate the Ukrainian ghetto, a mother leaves her11-year-old son with her best friend Mariana, a prostitute. Confined to Mariana’s room by day and locked in her closet by night, the boy clings to family memories while witnessing Mariana’s depression, alcoholism, abrupt disappearances, and abuse by visiting soldiers.  This haunting coming-of-age novel depicts – with powerfully sparse prose – loss, love, and the resilience of the human spirit.  

  • Review by David Leavitt, New York Times Book Review, March 21, 2010
  • Review by Ranen Omer-Sherman, Forward, March 10, 2010
  • Philip Roth interviews Aharon Appelfeld, New York Times, February 28, 1988
  • David Green interviews Aharon Appelfeld, Haaretz, April 5, 2010