Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781474623735

Price: £10.99

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In 1949, Lloyd Wilkinson Petrie has returned as a Trustee to live in the long-defunct boarding school that he had attended as a child. There he is preparing a memoir.

He writes, with faltering recall, of the subtle anti-Semitism that pervaded the school’s ethos and of his fascination with the Egyptian archaeological adventures of his distant cousin, Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie. Memories return too of the passions of a boyhood friendship with named Ben-Zion Elefantin, a mystifying older pupil who claims descent from Egypt’s Elephantine Island.

From one of our greatest writers, this is a tale that captures the shifting meanings of the past – one that displays her delight in Jamesian irony and the mythical flavor of a Kafka parable, woven into her own distinct voice.


One of the greatest fiction writers and critics alive today
The New York Times
Unequaled in her generation
Harold Bloom
A genuinely brilliant modern writer
One of America's most important and inventive writers
Time Out
She is a writer innately drawn to paradox, and to the moral questions inherent in the relationships between richness and poverty, mind and body, history and imagination
Ali Smith
The most accomplished and graceful literary stylist of our times
John Sutherland, New York Times Book Review
Beguiling. Ozick is adept at capturing the vicissitudes of fading memory or flashes of lucid insight. A fascinating portrait of isolation, memory, and loss
Publishers Weekly
A literary national treasure returns with a textured, gripping tale that peels back layers of antisemitism, with echoes of both A Separate Peace and the fiction of Isaac Bashevis Singer
O, the Oprah Magazine