From Publishers Weekly
SS Commandant Adolf Schroger, overseeing the Vilna Jewish ghetto, challenges 17½-year-old Isaac Lipman to a chess match with tauntingly barbarous stakes: if Isaac wins, Schroger will kill him, but all of the children in the ghetto will live; if he loses, the children will die, except for Isaac. A stalemate is thus the only desirable outcome. Isaac is his father Abraham's last surviving son; the two show love, strength and composure in the face of fear. Isaac's 16-year-old love interest, Esther, is lovely and sweet, but carrying her own already tragic past. There are many other stories, sometimes extraneous, of fathers and mothers, the missing and the dead, close friends and siblings. Born in Lithuania in 1934, Meras was hidden by a rural family during WWII; his family was murdered by the SS. In 1972, Meras emigrated to Israel, and most of his many novels center on WWII. The plot of Stalemate, out of print for 20 years, may seem hokey, but it's precisely the sort of random, ham-fisted horror that the Nazis routinely came up with, and Isaac's quest to merge cleverness and humility in all aspects of his life, under extreme duress, is winning. (Nov. 8)
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About the Author
Icchokas Meras was born in 1934 in Kelme, a town in northwestern Lithuania. His novels, short fiction, essays, and plays have been widely published and translated. Meras has been the recipient of many literary awards including the International Rememberance Award for Excellence and Distinction in the Literature of the Holocaust, for Stalemate. He currently lives in Holon, Israel.
Jonas Zdanys is the author of twenty-nine books, twenty-six of them collections of his own poetry and of his translations from Lithuanian. He serves presently as Chief Academic Officer in the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.