And The Rat Laughed

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And The Rat Laughed

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by Nava Semel
Hybrid Publishers

"I had a mother.
I had a father.
Won't you make do with that?
I loved and I lost.
That's the end. The beginning too.
The old woman keeps on grappling to the last minute, when the doorbell rings, causing the walls to shake."

What does it mean to remember?
How do we transfer emotional memory from one generation to another?

On the last day of 1999, a survivor grandmother in Tel Aviv shares with her granddaughter her tragic life story as a hidden child in a pit, with only a rat for company. The granddaughter tells the legend of "Girl and Rat" to her teacher; in 2009 those who heard it through her classmates establish an internet website with poems. From now on this memory is spread all over the world and becomes a myth. A future anthropologist, researching its mysterious roots in 2099, discovers Father Stanislaw's personal journal documenting his rescue of that little Jewish girl, and so the chain of remembearers moves from the present to the future and back to the past.

Through story, legend, poems, science fiction and diary entries, this unusual and gripping tale will carry you through darkness and light, hope and despair - and a unique exploration of the act of memory itself.



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