Manès Sperber

Like a Tear in the Ocean: A Trilogy Publication date : September 17, 2008

This is the authoritative edition, in a single volume, of Manes Sperber's powerful novel trilogy, Like a Tear in the Ocean, qualified by André Malraux as a “book of deadly truths”.

Sperber deserves to be rediscovered by today's readers. The first volume of Like a Tear in the Ocean was originally published in 1948 to wide acclaim, and the trilogy was later translated all over the world. A major twentieth-century work of fiction, it chronicles the lives of some exceptional men and women, devoted to justice, liberty and ethics, who were trapped and crushed by Nazism and Stalinism in the period between the two world wars.

This book, which testifies to one of the darkest hours in the history of humanity, is also a brilliant philosophical novel where every character attempts to reconcile the imperatives of ethics with those of action. Politics is only the raw material of this epic story whose real subject is the impact of political events on people's troubled spirits.

The power of history sweeps through this formidable trilogy. Not only is it a compelling literary work, it is also an exceptional document about men and women, deeply concerned with ideals, who are carried away by historical forces.

Manes Sperber (1905-1984) was one of the great writers who bore witness to the events of the twentieth century. He was born in a shtetl in Galicia, became a disciple of Alfred Adler, and joined the German Communist Party. He fled Nazi Germany in 1933, and broke with the Communists in 1937 during the Moscow trials. After the war, he settled in France and worked in publishing. He was responsible for introducing the works of Hermann Hesse and Patricia Highsmith to French readers. His friends included Malraux, Camus, Koestler and Raymond Aron. He is the author of Les Visages de l'Histoire (1990) and être Juif (1994).