288 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.85 in
April 13, 2010
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0805212124
ISBN - 13: 9780805212129
About the Book
A searing exploration of a man haunted by the horrors of the 20th century, "AMad Desire to Dance" is a profound look at one man's journey into the darkestinterior of the soul.
Read from the Book
She has dark eyes and the smile of a frightened child. I searched for her all my life. Was it she who saved me from the silent death that characterizes resignation to solitude? And from madness in its terminal phase, terminal as we refer to cancer when incurable? Yes, the kind of madness in which one can find refuge, if not salvation?Madness is what I’ll talk to you about—madness burdened with memories and with eyes like everyone else’s, though in my story the eyes are like those of a smiling child trembling with fear.You’ll ask: Is a madman who knows he’s mad really mad? Or: In a mad world, isn’t the madman who is aware of his madness the only sane person? But let’s not rush ahead. If you had to describe a madman, how would you portray him? As a marblefaced stranger? Smiling but without joy, his nerves on edge; when he goes into a trance, his limbs move about and all his thoughts collide; time and again, he has electrical discharges, not in his brain but in his soul. Do you like this portrait? Let’s continue. How can we talk about madness except by using the specific language of those who carry it within themselves? What if I told you that within each of us, whether in good health or bad, there is a hidden zone, a secret region that opens out onto madness? One misstep, one unfortunate blow of fate, is enough to make us slip or flounder with no hope of ever rising up again. Careless mistakes, an impaired memory or errors of judgment, can provoke a series of falls. It then bec
From the Publisher
Now in paperback, Wiesel’s newest novel “reminds us, with force, that his writing is alive and strong. The master has once again found a startling freshness.”—Le Monde des Livres
A European expatriate living in New York, Doriel suffers from a profound sense of desperation and loss. His mother, a member of the Resistance, survived World War II only to die soon after in France in an accident, together with his father. Doriel was a hidden child during the war, and his knowledge of the Holocaust is largely limited to what he finds in movies, newsreels, and books. Doriel’s parents and their secrets haunt him, leaving him filled with longing but unable to experience the most basic joys in life. He plunges into an intense study of Judaism, but instead of finding solace, he comes to believe that he is possessed by a dybbuk.
Surrounded by ghosts, spurred on by demons, Doriel finally turns to Dr. Thérèse Goldschmidt, a psychoanalyst who finds herself particularly intrigued by her patient. The two enter into an uneasy relationship based on exchange: of dreams, histories, and secrets. And despite Doriel’s initial resistance, Dr. Goldschmidt helps bring him to a crossroads—and to a shocking denouement.
“In its own high-stepping yet paradoxically heart-wracking way, [Wiesel’s novel] can most assuredly be considered beautiful (almost beyond belief).”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Elie Wiesel is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction, including his best-selling memoir Night. He has been awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the rank of Grand Croix in the French Legion of Honor, and an honorary knighthood by the Queen of England. In 1986 he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1976, he has been Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University.
Praise for A Mad Desire to Dance“A soaring explanation of a soul devastated by horrorism in a world off its rocker, A Mad Desire to Dance cannot be called comfy, not by a long shot. But in its own highstepping yet paradoxically heart-wracking way, it can most assuredly be considered beautiful (almost beyond belief).”-Judith Fitzgerald, The Philadelphia Inquirer “Tales in A Mad Desire to Dance just pour out of the author like the Talmudic ma’ayan hamitgaber, the wellspring that never runs dry . . . Wiesel proves again that he is a master storyteller who can weave a complex tapestry of plots into an intricately poignant human portrait.”-Ari L. Goldman, Moment magazine“A Mad Desire to Dance is the novel Elie Wiesel was born–or more accurately, survived–to write . . . There are many truths buried in this book; that you have to work a little harder, dig a little deeper, to find them makes the experience all the more meaningful.”-Curt Schleier, Milwaulkee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel“Elie Wiesel once more confirms his influence as a master storyteller who can weave an intricate narrative into a complex portrait of a man at once obliterated and remade.”-M.E. Collins, Chicago Sun-Times “Austerely written and . . . thought-provoking.”-Mike Peed, The New York Times Book Review“Elie Wiesel continues to be the ultimate witness to history’s worst enormity, and its fiercest moral voice for remembrance . . . [A Mad Desire to Dance] takes patience and close reading, but those who stay with it