‘Halfway through dinner,” says the unnamed narrator of “Eight White Nights,” “I knew I’d replay the whole evening in reverse.” Thus begins André Aciman’s snow globe of a novel, which attempts to follow up on the success of his debut novel, “Call Me by Your Name” (Picador, 2008). In “Eight White Nights,” a young man of an uncertain age and background appears at a party on Christmas Eve at a luxury building at the corner of Riverside Drive and West 106th Street, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He’s come uninvited, a stranger to everyone — including himself. He doesn’t even know who is giving the party, but he is dazzled nonetheless by the bounty and wealth surrounding him, and seems to have stepped right into a fairy tale; only later does he discover that the hosts of the party are a wealthy couple called, fittingly, Hans and Gretel. Outside, a snowstorm is brewing, blanketing the streets and lending a magical and dreamlike quality to the city.
GI Jews: How World War II Changed a Generation By Deborah Dash Moore Harvard University Press, 368 pages, $25.95. * * *|Contemporary Jewish thought has been shaped by the Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel and the transformation of the American Jewish community from a distant, peripheral outpost into the hub of the Jewish world.
Siegfried By Harry Mulisch, translated by Paul Vincent Viking Press, 180 pages, $22.95. ——-When galleys for the massive Stalin biography by Montefiore first made the rounds, I got hold of a copy for my father, thinking that the subject would interest him as a survivor of Auschwitz and a former Bundist. He’s read many, if not most,