The prologue for the powerful novel Contradictions begins on November 9, 1938 in Berlin, Germany, on the afternoon before Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. – – The story flashes forward to 1980, when Rachel, a young Jewish woman at the beginning of her academic career and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, has recently been hired as the first female assistant professor of American history at a prominent East Coast university. – – Eric, a sociology professor with a penchant for smart young women, is serving as her mentor, guiding Rachels research agenda and helping her understand the dynamics of the academic community. – – As Rachels personal relationship with Eric grows, she begins to come to terms with her religious and cultural past. The recounting of a brutal rape serves as a metaphorical relationship to the Holocaust and its continued impact on Jewish life. – – Contradictions challenges the power of narrative to remake history, ultimately questioning the role of memory and storytelling in our understandings of the past.
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