This is the first collection of the stories of John Auerbach to appear in English, the language in which these were written. Many of these stories were originally published in magazines including Commentary, Bostonia, the PEN magazine, News from the Republic of Letters, The Boston Globe Magazine and others.
The stories draw upon the themes running through Auerbach’s life: his years on the sea, on a kibbutz in Israel, an alienated man in America, his survival and the survival of others from the horrors of war and Holocaust. The Owl is a remarkable vignette, a special story. When it won the first PEN/UNESCO prize in 1993, awarded on the basis of “content and the power of communication,” Auerbach was unknown, and still today, outside a small circle, he remains so. The Owl and Other Stories makes available for the first time the remarkable writings of this especially literate and insightful observer.
JOHN AUERBACH was born in Warsaw in 1922, and served as a soldier in the Polish army at the beginning of the Second World War. During the German occupation, he escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto and worked on German ships as a stoker under a false identity. He was caught trying to escape to Sweden in a stolen boat, and was sent to the Stutthof concentration camp. After to the war, he went to Sweden and worked on Swedish ships. Here, he joined the Mossad Aliyah B and transported refugees to Israel for three years. He was captured by the British and was detained in a Cyprus camp for two years. On his release to Israel, he came to Kibbutz Sdot Yam, where he was a skipper of fi shing boats.
After Officers Training in Acre, he served as a Chief Engineer in the Israeli Merchant Marines for fifteen ears. Upon the death of his son in the 1973 War, he left the sea and returned to the Kibbutz where he wrote and published twelve books of short stories and novellas (translated into Hebrew), as well as stories published in American literary magazines.
Auerbach's short story, The Owl, was awarded First Prize in the first PEN/UNESCO Awards in 1993. He died in 2002.
Hardcover, 306 pp.