Book cover of A Curable Romantic

A Curable Romantic

by Joseph Skibell

Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781565129290






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Synopsis of A Curable Romantic

As far as romance goes, Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn is fairly incurable. Twice married, once divorced, once widowed—all by the tender age of twelve— he finally flees his small village and his pious, vengeful father. A lovelorn candide, young Dr. Sammelsohn wanders optimistically through history—pursued by the amorous ghost of his dead wife.

Arriving in Vienna in 1890, a chance encounter with Sigmund Freud leads our hero into the arms of Emma Eckstein, one of Freud’s most famous patients. Later he romances the beautiful and wealthy Loë Bernfeld, who carries him into the world of Esperanto and the universal language movement. Finally, Dr. Sammelsohn finds himself in the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, only to become a pawn in a battle over the path to heaven.

A Curable Romantic is a novel of personal and historical exile that could spring only from the literary imagination of a virtuoso. Often fantastical yet always grounded in tradition and history, it is that rare literary feat —a truly incomparable tale, ingenuously told, peopled with characters who live on in the memory.

Publishers Weekly

Dr. Jakob Sammuelsohn shares his astute and often sardonic views of the Jewish communities of Europe from 1890s Vienna to the 1940 Warsaw ghetto in Skibell’s lush historical novel. After he falls in love at first sight with Emma Eckstein, Freud’s famous patient, Sammuelsohn becomes a member of Freud’s circle. Eventually, his attention wanders, and his unrewarding love for Emma is displaced by the allure of other women, including Loe Bernfeld, a famous proponent of Esperanto. Jeff Woodman is a chameleon. He vanishes into each character and milks every satiric ounce out of Skibell’s merry novel in one of the best audios of the year. An Algonquin hardcover (Reviews, May 31). (Sept.)

About the Author, Joseph Skibell

Joseph Skibell is the author of two previous novels, A Blessing on the Moon and The English Disease. He has received a Halls Fiction Fellowship, a Michener Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, among other awards. He teaches at Emory University and is the director of the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature.

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