Night is one of the masterpieces of Holocaust literature. First published in 1960, it is the autobiographical account of an adolescent boy and his father in Auschwitz. Elie Wiesel writes of their battle for survival, and of his battle with God for a way to understand the wanton cruelty he witnesses each day. In the short novel Dawn (1961), a young man who has survived the Second World War and settled in Palestine is apprenticed to a Jewish underground movement, where the former victim is commanded to execute a British officer who has been taken hostage. In Day (previously titled The Accident, 1962), Wiesel questions the limits of the spirit and the self: Can Holocaust survivors forge a new life without the memories of the old?
Wiesel’s trilogy offers meditations on mankind’s attraction to violence and on the temptation of self-destruction.
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