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By Arnost Lustig

Dita Saxova is an eighteen-year-old focus camp survivor attempting to begin a brand new lifestyles in postwar Prague. residing in a unique hostel for orphans from the camps, too outdated to be cared for parentally, too younger to be absolutely grownup, too soaked actually to harbor many illusions, Dita struggles to reconcile struggles to reconcile her unfathomable previous along with her enigmatic destiny. First released in Czech in 1962, then in English in 1979, Dita Saxova confirms Arnost Lustig's position as one of many masterful storytellers of the Holocaust period.

From Library Journal
Lustig's novel received the nationwide Jewish publication Award upon its 1979 debut. The semiautobiographical story relates the tale of a tender Czechoslovakian girl attempting to placed her existence again jointly after surviving the Holocaust. A "touching and painful story" ( LJ 7/79) for international collections.

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Example text

She was sometimes accused of doing that herself at work. ” asked Dita. ” “No. ’ And ‘Don’t know. ’” To Linda, it seemed as if Dita’s eyes and voice were lull of restlessness, fantasy, something mysterious that irritated her. It was not envy that devoured Linda; it was envy mixed with admi­ ration, a bit of jealousy, and an endeavor to imitate it. She did not know what all was involved in it. ” “Whoever goes without a show­ er, as I read in Mr. Langer, must resign himself to having demons turn his spirit into a waterfall.

It seemed to her that Dita sported a rather aristo­ cratic air. Last Friday Dita had invited some people oxer students and acquaintances, including Linda’s stepbrother. David Fgon 11uppert. They sang and laughed loudlx. Thex had eaten potato pan­ cakes with garlic, prepared b\ Dita with the help of Isahellr (joldhlat and served with tea. Thex had been listening in her pi-tin’:

To how many dreams should she yield? How many times could she give of herself unconditionally? Must she surrender her reservations? All the girls were filled with these leelings. lhey toyed with them as though they were lire eaters standing in an oil spill. How close— or how far away— was it to every woman ’ It was easy to tell lies from a distance, as the caretaker used to say. Was it so much more difficult up close' It was just a step from what yesterday had been an unknown quantity, more or less nothing, and now suddenly it meant much.

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