Kiev, 1911. When a twelve-year-old Russian boy is found stabbed to death, his body drained of blood, the accusation of ritual murder is levelled at the Jews. Yakov Bok – a handyman hiding his Jewish identity from his anti-Semitic employer – is first outed and blamed. Arrested and imprisoned, Bok refuses to confess to a crime that he did not commit. What becomes of this man under pressure, for whom acquittal is made to seem as hopeless as conviction, is the subject of a terrifying masterpiece of twentieth-century fiction.
Winner of the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
“Brilliant [and] harrowing . . . Historical reality combined with fictional skill and beauty of a high order make [it] a novel of startling importance.” Elizabeth Hardwick, Vogue
“What makes it a great book, above and beyond its glowing goodness, has to do with something else altogether: its necessity…This novel, like all great novels reminds us that we must do something.” Jonathan Safran Foer
“A literary event in any season.” Eliot Fremont-Smith, The New York Times