USF Book Club: The History of Love

Do you read? Do you like discussing what you read in a casual environment? Then come to a USF Book Club monthly meeting!

The next book we will discuss is The History of Love by Nicole Krauss and we’ll meet on January 13th (Friday the 13th!) from 12 noon – 1 pm in the Seminar Room (#209) of Gleeson Library. We welcome people from the entire USF Community — students, staff, and faculty.

To get the book, request it through Link+ (arrives in about 4 business days), get it at SF Public, or check out an iPad or Kindle over the break, both of which have the e-book loaded on them. Request your copy soon — many libraries close over the holidays, so don’t wait.

The last words of this haunting novel resonate like a pealing bell. “He fell in love. It was his life.” This is the unofficial obituary of octogenarian Leo Gursky, a character whose mordant wit, gallows humor and searching heart create an unforgettable portrait. Born in Poland and a WWII refugee in New York, Leo has become invisible to the world. When he leaves his tiny apartment, he deliberately draws attention to himself to be sure he exists. What’s really missing in his life is the woman he has always loved, the son who doesn’t know that Leo is his father, and his lost novel, called The History of Love, which, unbeknownst to Leo, was published years ago in Chile under a different man’s name. Another family in New York has also been truncated by loss. Teenager Alma Singer, who was named after the heroine of The History of Love, is trying to ease the loneliness of her widowed mother, Charlotte. When a stranger asks Charlotte to translate The History of Love from Spanish for an exorbitant sum, the mysteries deepen. Krauss (Man Walks into a Room) ties these and other plot strands together with surprising twists and turns, chronicling the survival of the human spirit against all odds. Writing with tenderness about eccentric characters, she uses earthy humor to mask pain and to question the universe. Her distinctive voice is both plangent and wry, and her imagination encompasses many worlds.

–Publishers Weekly

Author Nicole Krauss will be at the JCCSF on Sunday February 26 to deliver a keynote for Book Fest. Get your tickets quick because it will probably sell out.

One of the book club members sent me this glossary that she said can be very helpful when reading The History of Love… she’s Jewish and even she was enlightened by some of the entries.

Still craving more Krauss? They have a page dedicated to her on NPR!

Also for next time, the book club would like you to bring a list of children’s books you adore, or books that greatly influenced you when growing up. We just might break another taboo and do a children’s book for February!

Have a great holiday season and we’ll see you all in the new year!

2 thoughts on “USF Book Club: The History of Love”

  1. Thank you Kelci for maintaining this site. You should get extra credit! I hope to see you Friday, but there’s a chance I may have an appointment. Will confirm either way. Christine

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