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The Acrophile

Yoram Kaniuk
The nameless narrator is an Israeli man who comes to New York thinking he wants to be a scholar of ancient languages. In fact, what he really wants is to be a guide at the Empire State Building. Having endured dreadful violence and witnessed death during the Israeli War of Independence, he comes to New York to free himself of Israel, Zionist ideology and his sense of obligation. He marries, but as his mother-in-law lies dying, he becomes involved in her family drama. However, he is too emotionally exhausted to take it and, unable to give of himself, he withdraws from all the family's demands as well as those of his wife..
The Acrophile is a book about alienation. Seeking to be alone and unreachable, the hero answers an advertisement for a guide. He concludes his narrative at the top of the Empire State Building, distant from Israel and aloof from his past and the Jewishness of his wife`s family.

Kaniuk Acrophile
Title The Acrophile
Author’s Last Name Kaniuk
Author's First Name Yoram
Language(s) English, Italian
Genre novel & stories
Publisher (Hebrew) Schocken
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1963
No. Pages 188 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Yored Lemala
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

English: London, Chatto & Windus, 1961; New York, Atheneum, 1961
Italian: Milan, Longanesi, 1968
 
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