"One of the strongest literary renditions of the Shoah I know."-Saul Friedlander, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Years of ExterminationI, one
Henryk Stanislaw Wyrzykowski,
Head Clerk of Closed Files,
a department of one,
work . . .
in a forgotten well of ghostly sighs
This astonishing novel in verse tells the story of Henryk Wyrzykowski, a drifting, haunted young man hiding from the Vietnam War in the basement of a San Francisco welfare building and translating his mother's diaries. The diaries concern the Jedwabne massacre, an event that took place in German-occupied Poland in 1941. Wildly inventive, dark, beautiful, and unrelenting, The Wherewithal is a meditation on the nature of evil and the destruction of war.
"Faced with so much that has been written about the Holocaust, this dense compelling morality tale is a daring feat. I've never read anything that so brilliantly reaches beyond the efforts of mass extermination by the Nazis to the American onslaught in Vietnam-and makes poetry out of it." - Maxine Kumin
"The Wherewithal is an extraordinary piece of writing. As in his earlier work Schultz uses the resources of fiction, verse, and reportage to create something at once novelistic and deliriously poetic. It's powerfully moving and disturbing both at the level of the small concrete details that form its basic building blocks and at the level of the larger decisions. The way it situates the Holocaust in the context of other theaters of violence and cruelty universalizes the catastrophe with a devastating forcefulness. It left me reeling." - James Lasdun
"Gripping, eloquent, moving, this is a powerful tale about what remains hidden and/or unspeakable in history." - Elie Wiesel
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W. W. Norton & Company
January 26, 2014
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