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Descripción de editorial
Poland, 1939. The comfortable, secure world of assimilated Jews is blown away by the invasion of the Third Reich. Maciek's father disappears into the war's vortex, leaving the orphaned child with his acerbic and beautiful Aunt Tania. It is her cool inventiveness, in their dramatic flight through a landscape of oppression, that will ensure their fragile survival.
The ``lies'' in this haunting, powerful Holocaust novel are not just the Nazis' monstrous racialist myths, but also the personal fictions adopted by their victims in order to survive. Two such survivors are orphaned nine-year-old Maciek and his sharp-tongued aunt, Tania. Posing as Catholic Poles to hide their Jewish identity, constantly on the move, they witness slaughter in the Warsaw Ghetto from a nearby rooftop and, later, break ranks on a march to cattle cars destined for Auschwitz. As narrator, Maciek speaks in a voice much more mature than his years alone suggest, yet his simple matter-of-factness lends a keen moral edge to his observations on the bestiality and irrationality around him. Just as the war ends, Poles carry out a bloody pogrom, and both nephew and aunt assume new surnames, living under new lies. Scattered italicized passages summoning up Dante and Virgil suggest the enormity of evil, a superfluous device in this searing story of the quest for an authentic self in an insane world.