Leo Gursky is an old man living alone in New York. In Poland sixty years earlier he wrote a book called The History of Love, inspired by his lover Alma. But when they were parted by the war, circumstances ensured they could never be together again and Leo's book was lost. If only he could find it. If only he wasn't so alone.
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006 and winner of the 2006 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, The History of Love explores the lasting power of the written word and the lasting power of love. Published as a Penguin Essential for the first time.
'When I was born my mother named me after every girl in a book my father gave her called The History of Love. . . '
Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer is trying to find a cure for her mother's loneliness. Believing she might discover it in an old book her mother is lovingly translating, she sets out in search of its author.
Across New York an old man called Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer. He spends his days dreaming of the love lost that sixty years ago in Poland inspired him to write a book. And although he doesn't know it yet, that book also survived: crossing oceans and generations, and changing lives. . .
'Wonderfully affecting...brilliant, touching and remarkably poised' Sunday Telegraph
'A tender tribute to human valiance. Who could be unmoved by a cast of characters whose daily battles are etched on out mind in such diamond-cut prose?' Independent on Sunday
'Devastating...one of the most passionate vindications of the written word in recent fiction. It takes one's breath away' Spectator