by Merri Rosenberg

Moscow, Vietnam, New Jersey

Never mind that Dara Horn, author of The World to Come (Norton, $24.95), is a Harvard doctoral candidate pursuing comparative literature studies in Yiddish and Hebrew literature. Above all else, Horn is a consummate story teller whose imagination and narrative skill succeed in bringing to vivid life the worlds of 1980s suburban New Jersey, present-day New York, and Soviet Russia of the 1920s and 30s. Linked by the theft of a Marc Chagall painting, which the protagonist, Benjamin Ziskind, believes to be his family’s rightful possession, Horn weaves the Ziskind saga into the lives of Chagall and the Yiddish writer known as “Der Nister” (The Hidden One) to conjure a universe of extraordinary connections.

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