A powerful, soaring novel about a stolen desk that contains the secrets, and becomes the obsession, of the lives it passes through.
For twenty-five years, a solitary American novelist has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet’s secret police; one day a girl claiming to be his daughter arrives to take it away, sending her life reeling.
Across the ocean in London, a man discovers a terrifying secret about his wife of almost fifty years.
In Jerusalem, an antiques dealer is slowly reassembling his father’s Budapest study, plundered by the Nazis in 1944.
These worlds are anchored by a desk of enormous dimension and many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or give it away.
In the minds of those it has belonged to, the desk comes to stand for all that has disappeared in the chaos of the world-children, parents, whole peoples and civilizations.
Nicole Krauss has written a hauntingly powerful novel about memory struggling to create a meaningful permanence in the face of inevitable loss.