The Bitter Smell of Almonds

Paper Text – $36.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1902-4
Publication Date
August 2001
Page Count
724 pages
Trim Size
5 1/2 x 8 3/4

The Bitter Smell of Almonds

Arnost Lustig

For the first time, Arnošt Lustig's short story collections Street of Lost Brothers and Indecent Dreams and his novel Dita Saxova are brought together in an omnibus edition. As with all of Lustig's works, these tales reverberate with themes of loss and contradiction, with the torments of suffering and survival. In The Bitter Smell of Almonds, Lustig asks questions as old and as universal as humankind's search for the meaning of existence; and his characters, often juxtaposed against people or situations they cannot comprehend, attempt to come to terms with the unthinkable and with life itself.

About the Author
Arnošt Lustig was born in Czechoslovakia in 1926. After internment in Theresienstadt, Buchenwald, and Auschwitz, he escaped from a train of prisoners bound for Dachau. He returned to Prague to fight in the Czech resistance in 1945 and went into exile following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Lustig now lives in the United States, where he teaches writing, literature, and the history of film at the American University.

"One is grateful for Mr. Lustig's quiet prose and for the fiction that we are reading fiction."
--The New Yorker
"[Lustig] is not only an eyewitness but also a skillful, gifted writer. . . . With age, exile and distance, he appears to have outgrown mere brilliance and learned to deal with the past in his own way." --Ernst Pawel, New York Times Book Review

"Arnošt Lustig is one of the leading contemporary Czech fiction writers, and certainly the most important Jewish writer of Bohemia to have survived the Holocaust."
--Josef Skvorecky