Twilight is a haunting novel by Nobel Peace prize-winning author Elie Wiesel.
Raphael Lipkin hears voices and talks to ghosts. Spending the summer at the Mountain Clinic, a New York psychiatric hospital, he is not a patient but rather a visiting professional with a secret, highly personal quest.
A Holocaust survivor who has painstakingly rebuilt his life, he has watched, horrified and helpless, as it all started coming apart. He longs for Pedro, the man who rescued him in postwar Poland - who became his mentor, hero, saviour and friend - and taught him truth from falsehood. But Pedro vanished into Stalin's gulags . . .
Desperate to explain his own survival, Raphael now seeks among the delusional patients the answers to the mysteries of good, evil and madness.
Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. He was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. After the war, Elie Wiesel studied in Paris and later became a journalist. During an interview with the distinguished French writer, Francois Mauriac, he was persuaded to write about his experiences in the death camps. The result was his internationally acclaimed memoir, La Nuit or Night, which has since been translated into more than thirty languages.
Exploring the painful affinity between life and death, sanity and madness, Nobel Laureate Wiesel draws yet again on the experiences of the Holocaust to provide an answer. At the novel's center is Raphael Lipkin, a professor who, convinced he is going mad, seeks respite from his tortured imaginings in a mental clinic where he is both a temporary staff member, exploring the relationship between madness and prophecy, and a patient. Raphael's family has disappeared into the death camps, but although he speaks to them in his dreams, it is to his absent friend Pedro that he pours out his heart, for whom he searches among the madmen in the sanitarium. Guilt obsesses him, as it must all survivors, but the particularity of his guilt resides in Pedro, who gave his life or his sanity (which for Raphael are the same) in an effort to save Raphael's brother Yoel. Poignant though the recounted suffering must in fact have been, the canvas is too broad for any single player to kindle sympathy, the expression of emotion too overblown to bring tears. Torture, death, the violence of separation are recounted in cliche-ridden prose. Yet a lingering question manages to possess the reader: Is every survivor already half dead?