The Postcard begins as a fairly straightforward biography of the author’s family and their tragic fates in the Holocaust. Its power builds gradually through the accretion of details which bring the Rabinowitzs vividly to life as unique individuals, as relatable as our own families; details that reinforce the scope of the tragedy, the millions of other individuals, the injustices and unbelievable horrors seeping into every moment of daily life, in every corner of every country in Europe, the impossible choices, the legacy of survivors. The Postcard is also a stunning celebration of resistance, a loving portrait of a fascinating family, and an entertaining mystery. It is, in sum, an extraordinarily personal and powerful remembrance.— Sara, Atlanta
A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2023
WINNER OF THE AMERICAN CHOIX GONCOURT PRIZE
WINNER OF THE PRIX RENAUDOT DES LYC ENS
WINNER OF THE ELLE READERS PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE GONCOURT PRIZE
Anne Berest's The Postcard is among the most acclaimed and beloved French novels of recent years. Luminous and gripping to the very last page, it is an enthralling investigation into family secrets, a poignant tale of mothers and daughters, and a vivid portrait of twentieth-century Parisian intellectual and artistic life.
January, 2003. Together with the usual holiday cards, an anonymous postcard is delivered to the Berest family home. On the front, a photo of the Op ra Garnier in Paris. On the back, the names of Anne Berest's maternal great-grandparents, Ephra m and Emma, and their children, No mie and Jacques--all killed at Auschwitz.
Fifteen years after the postcard is delivered, Anne, the heroine of this novel, is moved to discover who sent it and why. Aided by her chain-smoking mother, family members, friends, associates, a private detective, a graphologist, and many others, she embarks on a journey to discover the fate of the Rabinovitch family: their flight from Russia following the revolution, their journey to Latvia, Palestine, and Paris. What emerges is a moving saga of a family devastated by the Holocaust and partly restored through the power of storytelling that shatters long-held certainties about Anne's family, her country, and herself.