REVIEW ¾ Heir to the Glimmering World



10 thoughts on “Heir to the Glimmering World

  1. says:

    Brilliant A wonder and a joy It's the mid 1930s and Herr Professor and Frau Mitwisser being Jews have fled Hitler's Germany with their big family Thanks to the charitable uakers known for their tradition of religious tolerance the Mitwisser Family is brought to New York to Albany where the professor begins to lecture at the uaker college Mrs Mitwisser is deeply depressed however sometimes verging on the delusional having had to abandon her high profile scientific pursuits She'd worked closely with Erwin Schrödinger She has now withdrawn from the rest of the family and lies inert in a remote sitting room Our narrator eighteen year old Rose answers an ad in an Albany newspaper and comes to work for the Mitwissers Actually the ad is hilariously vague as to just what Rose's duties are going to be but she answers it anyway because she has to get out of her cousin Bertrand's apartment since he's fallen in love with the loudmouthed Communist Ninel Lenin spelled backwards and Rose has fallen for Bertrand who though very kind just thinks of her as a kid which she resents The Mitwisser household also includes sixteen year old Annaliese three younger boys Heinz Willi and Gert and a toddler daughter Waltraut Soon they move to the Bronx because the professor torn from Europe's great libraries due to the imminent war has to continue his scholarly study of a heretical group of tenth century Jews the Karaites at the New York Public Library Interlarded with the story of the Mitwissers and Rose and the Karaites is the story of The Bear Boy As a child during the decade of The Great War this fellow became the model for his father's dazzlingly successful series of children's books Now in mid life he's a lost soul who hates his immense wealth and lives a semi debauched drifter's existence That's pretty much the setup so I'll leave you hanging there Suffice it to say the novel's language is rich without being daunting its plot sprightly and its structure awe inspiring I really came to care for these vividly drawn characters even the cynical Bear Boy whose influence as patron of the Mitwisser household causes major friction between the professor and his wife Cynthia Ozick is my new favorite writer I plan to read everything she's written Also exuisitely good are her The Messiah of Stockholm and The Puttermesser Papers both of which I have reviewed


  2. says:

    Listening to the audio of Heir to the Glimmering World narrated by the amazing Julie Dretzin was a wondrous and rich experience Rose Meadows exiled from Albany arrives in the Bronx to serve as a caretakersecretary for the Mitwisser family refugees from Hitler's Germany The plot meanders amongst the Mitwissers Rose her cousin Bertram and James A'Bair who brings tumult to their household Ozick's use of language is stunning and her control of the narrative is brilliant I loved this novel


  3. says:

    This book was NOT the thrill I anticipated after listening to Ann Patchett recommend it on NBC’s Book Club She RAVED about this story effusively calling it “all books for all people” The story line sounded interestinga displaced immigrant Jewish family in 1930’s New York state needing to hire a young girl for unspecified helpand had me running to the library to find this bookI just do not get it I found myself having to doggedly PLOW through this story Julia’s words of “never not finishing a book” ringing in my ears I had to work at it; I just found the writing freuently awkward and odd The flow felt erratic the descriptions often had a weirdness to them there was needless repetition; it was difficult to identify with any of the characters Yet this author is touted as brilliant This book left me shaking my head uizzicallyI should say that one of the characters in the story is based on the real Christopher Robin of A A Milne fame The grown up Christopher Robin was an unhappy man who was alienated from his father who had used him as story fodder I found that to be very sadI finished this book with a sigh of relief less


  4. says:

    The Mitwisser family are exiled Germans living in upstate New York during the Depression and Rose Meadows the narrator answers an ad in the paper looking for rather vague household help Her duties wind up being different things for different members of the family depending on their needs The Mitwissers's benefactor is James A'Bair a malcontent who is popular because of his father's children's story books about the Bear Boy ie James James is loosely based on Christopher Milne the son of AA Milne who is immortalized as Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh something Christopher was sadly never able to remove himself fromI'm happy to be reading authors whose writings are better read personally than explained to someone else Ozick's The Puttermesser Papers felt similarly to me I enjoyed the entire reading process but didn't find myself analyzing or reviewing or editing it in my head as I read To find an author like that who can take me away completely is exciting for me and I want to tell everyone to read her But don't make me explain why Ozick has a way with words and a style entirely her own but as a strong female writer it's hard not to lump her despite everything I believe in not lumping writers together based on gender or topic with Angela Carter or Susan Sontag Perhaps the fact that I'm reading of these authors all around the same time has to do with the categorization than anything else


  5. says:

    Superb writing and enthralling family and character study of these refugees and the narrator who is hired as the father's aide It's a tremendous analysis of intellectualism culture hierarchy economic power language change and esteem alteration you name it All within desperate times of change This is not the particular time period place or type of voice that I usually prefer but the writing of this place and of these people is spot on to a masterful reveal of essence emotion and their reality of choices to chosen survivals It doesn't much miss any of the Bronx locale nuance for that particular period either Excellent readThis author writes in a classic mode sometimes you must tease the unsaid meanings out of her What is unsaid being sometimes understood in a much deeper way than if it was detailed It can seem slow for that reason to some but this one is in a class of literature with the big L I especially liked her politico characterizations and her view into sane self identification reactions of the Mother She in her own estimation did not compromise her place of esteem deservedAs a person who has heard English spoken by people who never heard a word of it until they were out of their teens or by some whose 3rd language is English I was flummoxed by this author's skill in German nuance and placements EXCELLENT and so few can do it I can understand how many readers would be turned off by this as a read because they find it is odd or awkward not flowing prose I understand the density for them and the plodding to get anywhere here Yet that feels to me authentic and worth the slowness of this period piece


  6. says:

    This was a reasonably satisfying read good stuff for curling up in bed during a cold night but the story of a wildly disaffected almost schizoid nanny in the house of a family of German immigrants coughs and sputters at its core The narrator's complete lack of affect is supposed to do something but exactly what is never clear Eually unclear is what the poorly disguised retelling of A A Milnes' own alienated son is doing in this book If you approach it as a sweet compendium of idiomatic behavior you'll enjoy this just fine


  7. says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am sorry to finish it It’s one of those dreamy books that creates such a particular world It’s very well plotted and the characters are uniue and real but it’s the richness of the created world that makes me love this one Ozick has made me know just how those teacups the china ones with yellow roses feel in my hand; just how Waltraut’s dolls sound on the stairs; just how the Professor’s study feels when you enter it; just how Bertram fills up the kitchen and creates a home from the awful house the Mitwissers inhabit It’s like she gave me the memories and experiences of those people and that place even the ones she didn’t include in the book Somehow she gave them all to meDon't read it expecting to find a page turner a book you get all electrified by it's not that Expect to soak in it let it soak into you It's one that leaves you tinted with its memories


  8. says:

    Cynthia Ozick's 2004 novel Heir to the Glimmering World is known as The Bear Boy in the United Kingdom It is fitting that this complex difficult novel will take two or perhaps appropriate titles The Bear Boy refers to one of the many principal characters in the book James A'Bair As a child James had been the subject of a successful series of children's book written by his father James inherits a fortune when his father dies We wanders aimlessly over the world before ultimately becoming the benefactor of the Mitwisser family at the heart of the novel The title Heir to the Glimmering World is both poetic and difficult to explain The heir is the young woman narrator Rose Meadows 19 of the story The glimmering world could be one of several lost worlds described in the story the world of the Karaites discussed below or the world of Germany and scholarship before WW IIThe story is set primarily in depression era New York in 1933 1935 The book is told with great allusiveness in form and content to British novels including Sense and Sensibility Middlemarch Jane Eyre and Hard Times The early stages of Ozick's novel take place in Albany and upstate New York while the larger portion of the book is set in a relatively remote section of the Bronx The novel tells loosely interrelated stories of refuges outcasts and rebelsThe narrator Rose is a uiet bookish girl whose mother died when she was 3 and whose father a teacher and a gambler dies when Rose is 18 after he has put the girl in the care of a distant relation Bertram 36 Bertram is divorced a pharmacist and involved with radical politics He is in love with an even radical woman named Ninel who is not committed to him Ninel essentially forces Rose out of her home with Bertram and at age 18 Rose drops out of a teacher's college which bores her to answer a strange ad placed by a Professor Mitwisser Mitwisser is a student of religious history who has been forced to flee Germany His wife Elsa was a research physicist and the colleague of Erwin Schrodinger The couple have five children Elsa is despondent and appears mad Their eldest daughter Anneliese runs much of the household In Albany Mitwisser has been teaching at a small college by the kndness of the uakers He is a renowned scholar of the heretical Jewish sect known as the Karaites The governor's of the school mistake him as a student of Christian Charismatics There is little interest in Mitwisser's passion for the Karaites in the United States The family moves to New York City to allow Mitwisser to study and write They are supported by the mysterious James The Bear BoyThe Mitwissers have difficulty to say the least with their new home in America In Germany the family was wealthy and respected for intellect and knowledge while in the United States they are spurned There is a sense of high culture or bildung in German which the family especially Elsa finds lacking in the United States Professor Mitwisser wants his children and family to adopt and adjust to learn and use English and to drop German and German culture The narrator Rose too is a refuge and an outcast of a different sort as is the wealthy dissolute wandering James who has somehow adopted the Mitwisser family and is their apparent benefactorRose has an ambiguous role in the family as a companion to Elsa a nanny to the children and a scribe or amanuensis for Mitwisser Although the Mitwisser family is not religious Mitwisser is the greatest scholar of the Karaites The Karaites are a Jewish sect originating in the early Middle Ages The Karaites broke away from mainline traditional Judaism because they refused to accept the authority of the Jewish Oral Law the Mishnah and the Gemmorah which comprise the Talmud Instead the Karaites accepted the authority only of the 24 books of the Old Testament Traditional Judaism rejected the Karaites as heretics and the sect became marginalized and obscure Many of the leaders of the sect wrote voluminously and provocatively Mitwisser in this novel is their scholar As Rose comes to describe the Karaites as she learns about them from MitwisserThey are dissidents; therefore they are haters But they are also lovers and what they love is purity and what they hate is impurity And what they consider to be impurity is the intellect's explorations; and yet they are themselves known for intellect p73Professor Mitwisser loves the Karaites for their independence their heresy their obscurity and their religious passion and feeling His love alas is at the expense of much else in life including his wife and children Professor Mitwisser is pursuing threads regarding an earlier leader of the sect who Mitwisser believes travelled to India where he studied and became enad of the Bhagavad Gita Ultimately Mitsisser's research program is dashed Rose and Ozick in particular take a much distanced position from the Karaites than does MitwisserElsa has a madness that derives from the wife in Jane Eyre But she also sees certain things clearly A physicist she was also the lover of Schroedinger She undergoes significant changes during the course of the bookThe book has the feel of a difficult coming of age story as Rose who narrates the story from a distance ultimately uses what she has learned from living with the Mitwissers to begin her own independent lifeOzick has written a cerebral thoughtful story of refugees outcasts and the life of the mind and its limitations There is a skeptical tone towards political messianism and radicalism in the person of Ninel and in Bertram's early life and towards religious freethought and heresy as exemplified by the Karaites The author also turns a skeptical eye towards what she sees as the thoughtless materialist character of American life Some of the threads of the story do not come together well and there is a sense of coolness and detachment towards the characters This a challenging but rewarding novelRobin Friedman


  9. says:

    I picked up this book in Delhi off a pavement seller peddling second hand books for a pittance primarily because it looked interesting and light and I thought something cheerful would be nice I would hesitate to call this either cheerful or light but it wins on the interesting scale Heir to the Glimmering World is not as the title might suggest a book about fantasy or adventure or even about inheritance well at least not much It's about a girl working as a governess to the Mitwisser clan a strange and chaotic family patronised by the young wealthy and mysterious James A'Bair Does the governess end up happily married to the young millionaire? No she doesn't and that alone should piue your interest Herr Doktor Professor Rudolf Mitwisser himself is a scholar of an ancient Jewish sect a field of study of interest to no one but a small group of like minded scholars and his patron James A'Bair heir to the fortune built by the sale of childrens' books written by his father and based on him is sulky whimsical and charming all at once the sole reason that the entire family isn't on the streets begging The rapidly deteriorating mental state of Mrs Mitwesser the acting out of her younger children in a desperate bid for attention her daughter's frantic desire to escape the familial trap of poverty create a cast of characters that our protagonist Rose deftly picks her way through This is a book that contains neat touches of humour amidst the uietly understated misery of many of the characters One is left with a feeling of despair but not an overwhelming one a sense that this too is something that be absorbed tolerated learned The Mitwessers are refugees in the New York of 1935 escaping Nazi Germany With their background and Rose's orphanhood this is as much a novel about trying to fit in as it is about love and desperation I very much liked it and I'm not sorry at all for judging the book by its cover


  10. says:

    This novel was completely unpredictable and not like anything I had ever read before and that in itself makes it worth reading But beyond that the prose is beautiful


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Heir to the Glimmering World

FREE DOWNLOAD Heir to the Glimmering World

Cynthia Ozick has been known for decades as one of America's most gifted and extraordinary storytellers; her remarkable new novel has established her as one of the most enticingly readable as well Heir to the Glimmering World received exuberant reviews after its hardcover publication and Ozick on her first ever book tour was welcomed by standing room only crowds Reading groups too. Brilliant A wonder and a joy It's the mid 1930s and Herr Professor and Frau Mitwisser being Jews have fled Hitler's Germany with their big family Thanks to the charitable uakers known for their tradition of religious tolerance the Mitwisser Family is brought to New York to Albany where the professor begins to lecture at the uaker college Mrs Mitwisser is deeply depressed however sometimes verging on the delusional having had to abandon her high profile scientific pursuits She'd worked closely with Erwin Schrödinger She has now withdrawn from the rest of the family and lies inert in a remote sitting room Our narrator eighteen year old Rose answers an ad in an Albany newspaper and comes to work for the Mitwissers Actually the ad is hilariously vague as to just what Rose's duties are going to be but she answers it anyway because she has to get out of her cousin Bertrand's apartment since he's fallen in love with the loudmouthed Communist Ninel Lenin spelled backwards and Rose has fallen for Bertrand who though very kind just thinks of her as a kid which she resents The Mitwisser household also includes sixteen year old Annaliese three younger boys Heinz Willi and Gert and a toddler daughter Waltraut Soon they move to the Bronx because the professor torn from Europe's great libraries due to the imminent war has to continue his scholarly study of a heretical group of tenth century Jews the Karaites at the New York Public Library Interlarded with the story of the Mitwissers and Rose and the Karaites is the story of The Bear Boy As a child during the decade of The Great War this fellow became the model for his father's dazzlingly successful series of children's books Now in mid life he's a lost soul who hates his immense wealth and lives a semi debauched drifter's existence That's pretty much the setup so I'll leave you hanging there Suffice it to say the novel's language is rich without being daunting its plot sprightly and its structure awe inspiring I really came to care for these vividly drawn characters even the cynical Bear Boy whose influence as patron of the Mitwisser household causes major friction between the professor and his wife Cynthia Ozick is my new favorite writer I plan to read everything she's written Also exuisitely good are her The Messiah of Stockholm and The Puttermesser Papers both of which I have reviewed Swimming to the Moon gifted and extraordinary storytellers; her remarkable new novel has established her as one of the most enticingly readable as well Heir to the Glimmering World received exuberant reviews after its hardcover publication and Ozick on her first ever book tour was welcomed by standing room only crowds Reading Stir It Up groups too. Brilliant A wonder and a joy It's the mid 1930s and Herr Professor and Frau Mitwisser being Jews have fled Hitler's Germany with their big family Thanks to the charitable uakers known for their tradition of religious tolerance the Mitwisser Family is brought to New York to Albany where the professor begins to lecture at the uaker college Mrs Mitwisser is deeply depressed however sometimes verging on the delusional having had to abandon her high profile scientific pursuits She'd worked closely with Erwin Schrödinger She has now withdrawn from the rest of the family and lies inert in a remote sitting room Our narrator eighteen year old Rose answers an ad in an Albany newspaper and comes to work for the Mitwissers Actually the ad is hilariously vague as to just what Rose's duties are The Cambridge Handbook of Social Problems going to be but she answers it anyway because she has to Handbook of Psychophysiology get out of her cousin Bertrand's apartment since he's fallen in love with the loudmouthed Communist Ninel Lenin spelled backwards and Rose has fallen for Bertrand who though very kind just thinks of her as a kid which she resents The Mitwisser household also includes sixteen year old Annaliese three younger boys Heinz Willi and Gert and a toddler daughter Waltraut Soon they move to the Bronx because the professor torn from Europe's Frugal Innovation great libraries due to the imminent war has to continue his scholarly study of a heretical American Presidents, Deportations, and Human Rights Violations group of tenth century Jews the Karaites at the New York Public Library Interlarded with the story of the Mitwissers and Rose and the Karaites is the story of The Bear Boy As a child during the decade of The Great War this fellow became the model for his father's dazzlingly successful series of children's books Now in mid life he's a lost soul who hates his immense wealth and lives a semi debauched drifter's existence That's pretty much the setup so I'll leave you hanging there Suffice it to say the novel's language is rich without being daunting its plot sprightly and its structure awe inspiring I really came to care for these vividly drawn characters even the cynical Bear Boy whose influence as patron of the Mitwisser household causes major friction between the professor and his wife Cynthia Ozick is my new favorite writer I plan to read everything she's written Also exuisitely Rediscovering Our Galaxy (Iau S334) good are her The Messiah of Stockholm and The Puttermesser Papers both of which I have reviewed

FREE DOWNLOAD ç PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ê Cynthia Ozick

He auspices of a generous benefactor James A'Bair the discontented heir to a fortune his father a famous children's author made from a series of books called The Bear Boy Rose watches as the refugee family's fortunes rise and fall against the vivid backdrop of a world in tumult Ozick's novel is a thrilling read that will undoubtedly gain this lauded author new readers in paperback. Cynthia Ozick's 2004 novel Heir to the Glimmering World is known as The Bear Boy in the United Kingdom It is fitting that this complex difficult novel will take two or perhaps appropriate titles The Bear Boy refers to one of the many principal characters in the book James A'Bair As a child James had been the subject of a successful series of children's book written by his father James inherits a fortune when his father dies We wanders aimlessly over the world before ultimately becoming the benefactor of the Mitwisser family at the heart of the novel The title Heir to the Glimmering World is both poetic and difficult to explain The heir is the young woman narrator Rose Meadows 19 of the story The glimmering world could be one of several lost worlds described in the story the world of the Karaites discussed below or the world of Germany and scholarship before WW IIThe story is set primarily in depression era New York in 1933 1935 The book is told with great allusiveness in form and content to British novels including Sense and Sensibility Middlemarch Jane Eyre and Hard Times The early stages of Ozick's novel take place in Albany and upstate New York while the larger portion of the book is set in a relatively remote section of the Bronx The novel tells loosely interrelated stories of refuges outcasts and rebelsThe narrator Rose is a uiet bookish girl whose mother died when she was 3 and whose father a teacher and a gambler dies when Rose is 18 after he has put the girl in the care of a distant relation Bertram 36 Bertram is divorced a pharmacist and involved with radical politics He is in love with an even radical woman named Ninel who is not committed to him Ninel essentially forces Rose out of her home with Bertram and at age 18 Rose drops out of a teacher's college which bores her to answer a strange ad placed by a Professor Mitwisser Mitwisser is a student of religious history who has been forced to flee Germany His wife Elsa was a research physicist and the colleague of Erwin Schrodinger The couple have five children Elsa is despondent and appears mad Their eldest daughter Anneliese runs much of the household In Albany Mitwisser has been teaching at a small college by the kndness of the uakers He is a renowned scholar of the heretical Jewish sect known as the Karaites The governor's of the school mistake him as a student of Christian Charismatics There is little interest in Mitwisser's passion for the Karaites in the United States The family moves to New York City to allow Mitwisser to study and write They are supported by the mysterious James The Bear BoyThe Mitwissers have difficulty to say the least with their new home in America In Germany the family was wealthy and respected for intellect and knowledge while in the United States they are spurned There is a sense of high culture or bildung in German which the family especially Elsa finds lacking in the United States Professor Mitwisser wants his children and family to adopt and adjust to learn and use English and to drop German and German culture The narrator Rose too is a refuge and an outcast of a different sort as is the wealthy dissolute wandering James who has somehow adopted the Mitwisser family and is their apparent benefactorRose has an ambiguous role in the family as a companion to Elsa a nanny to the children and a scribe or amanuensis for Mitwisser Although the Mitwisser family is not religious Mitwisser is the greatest scholar of the Karaites The Karaites are a Jewish sect originating in the early Middle Ages The Karaites broke away from mainline traditional Judaism because they refused to accept the authority of the Jewish Oral Law the Mishnah and the Gemmorah which comprise the Talmud Instead the Karaites accepted the authority only of the 24 books of the Old Testament Traditional Judaism rejected the Karaites as heretics and the sect became marginalized and obscure Many of the leaders of the sect wrote voluminously and provocatively Mitwisser in this novel is their scholar As Rose comes to describe the Karaites as she learns about them from MitwisserThey are dissidents; therefore they are haters But they are also lovers and what they love is purity and what they hate is impurity And what they consider to be impurity is the intellect's explorations; and yet they are themselves known for intellect p73Professor Mitwisser loves the Karaites for their independence their heresy their obscurity and their religious passion and feeling His love alas is at the expense of much else in life including his wife and children Professor Mitwisser is pursuing threads regarding an earlier leader of the sect who Mitwisser believes travelled to India where he studied and became enad of the Bhagavad Gita Ultimately Mitsisser's research program is dashed Rose and Ozick in particular take a much distanced position from the Karaites than does MitwisserElsa has a madness that derives from the wife in Jane Eyre But she also sees certain things clearly A physicist she was also the lover of Schroedinger She undergoes significant changes during the course of the bookThe book has the feel of a difficult coming of age story as Rose who narrates the story from a distance ultimately uses what she has learned from living with the Mitwissers to begin her own independent lifeOzick has written a cerebral thoughtful story of refugees outcasts and the life of the mind and its limitations There is a skeptical tone towards political messianism and radicalism in the person of Ninel and in Bertram's early life and towards religious freethought and heresy as exemplified by the Karaites The author also turns a skeptical eye towards what she sees as the thoughtless materialist character of American life Some of the threads of the story do not come together well and there is a sense of coolness and detachment towards the characters This a challenging but rewarding novelRobin Friedman Angel of Sudden Hill generous benefactor James A'Bair the discontented heir to a fortune his father a famous children's author made from a series of books called The Bear Boy Rose watches as the refugee family's fortunes rise and fall against the vivid backdrop of a world in tumult Ozick's novel is a thrilling read that will undoubtedly The Complete Anchoring Handbook gain this lauded author new readers in paperback. Cynthia Ozick's 2004 novel Heir to the Glimmering World is known as The Bear Boy in the United Kingdom It is fitting that this complex difficult novel will take two or perhaps appropriate titles The Bear Boy refers to one of the many principal characters in the book James A'Bair As a child James had been the subject of a successful series of children's book written by his father James inherits a fortune when his father dies We wanders aimlessly over the world before ultimately becoming the benefactor of the Mitwisser family at the heart of the novel The title Heir to the Glimmering World is both poetic and difficult to explain The heir is the young woman narrator Rose Meadows 19 of the story The Screams and Nightmares glimmering world could be one of several lost worlds described in the story the world of the Karaites discussed below or the world of Germany and scholarship before WW IIThe story is set primarily in depression era New York in 1933 1935 The book is told with Muay Thai Unleashed great allusiveness in form and content to British novels including Sense and Sensibility Middlemarch Jane Eyre and Hard Times The early stages of Ozick's novel take place in Albany and upstate New York while the larger portion of the book is set in a relatively remote section of the Bronx The novel tells loosely interrelated stories of refuges outcasts and rebelsThe narrator Rose is a uiet bookish Practical Boat Mechanics girl whose mother died when she was 3 and whose father a teacher and a Short Cycle Selling gambler dies when Rose is 18 after he has put the Break the Bipolar Cycle girl in the care of a distant relation Bertram 36 Bertram is divorced a pharmacist and involved with radical politics He is in love with an even radical woman named Ninel who is not committed to him Ninel essentially forces Rose out of her home with Bertram and at age 18 Rose drops out of a teacher's college which bores her to answer a strange ad placed by a Professor Mitwisser Mitwisser is a student of religious history who has been forced to flee Germany His wife Elsa was a research physicist and the colleague of Erwin Schrodinger The couple have five children Elsa is despondent and appears mad Their eldest daughter Anneliese runs much of the household In Albany Mitwisser has been teaching at a small college by the kndness of the uakers He is a renowned scholar of the heretical Jewish sect known as the Karaites The Innovate the Pixar Way governor's of the school mistake him as a student of Christian Charismatics There is little interest in Mitwisser's passion for the Karaites in the United States The family moves to New York City to allow Mitwisser to study and write They are supported by the mysterious James The Bear BoyThe Mitwissers have difficulty to say the least with their new home in America In Germany the family was wealthy and respected for intellect and knowledge while in the United States they are spurned There is a sense of high culture or bildung in German which the family especially Elsa finds lacking in the United States Professor Mitwisser wants his children and family to adopt and adjust to learn and use English and to drop German and German culture The narrator Rose too is a refuge and an outcast of a different sort as is the wealthy dissolute wandering James who has somehow adopted the Mitwisser family and is their apparent benefactorRose has an ambiguous role in the family as a companion to Elsa a nanny to the children and a scribe or amanuensis for Mitwisser Although the Mitwisser family is not religious Mitwisser is the School for Startups greatest scholar of the Karaites The Karaites are a Jewish sect originating in the early Middle Ages The Karaites broke away from mainline traditional Judaism because they refused to accept the authority of the Jewish Oral Law the Mishnah and the Gemmorah which comprise the Talmud Instead the Karaites accepted the authority only of the 24 books of the Old Testament Traditional Judaism rejected the Karaites as heretics and the sect became marginalized and obscure Many of the leaders of the sect wrote voluminously and provocatively Mitwisser in this novel is their scholar As Rose comes to describe the Karaites as she learns about them from MitwisserThey are dissidents; therefore they are haters But they are also lovers and what they love is purity and what they hate is impurity And what they consider to be impurity is the intellect's explorations; and yet they are themselves known for intellect p73Professor Mitwisser loves the Karaites for their independence their heresy their obscurity and their religious passion and feeling His love alas is at the expense of much else in life including his wife and children Professor Mitwisser is pursuing threads regarding an earlier leader of the sect who Mitwisser believes travelled to India where he studied and became enad of the Bhagavad Gita Ultimately Mitsisser's research program is dashed Rose and Ozick in particular take a much distanced position from the Karaites than does MitwisserElsa has a madness that derives from the wife in Jane Eyre But she also sees certain things clearly A physicist she was also the lover of Schroedinger She undergoes significant changes during the course of the bookThe book has the feel of a difficult coming of age story as Rose who narrates the story from a distance ultimately uses what she has learned from living with the Mitwissers to begin her own independent lifeOzick has written a cerebral thoughtful story of refugees outcasts and the life of the mind and its limitations There is a skeptical tone towards political messianism and radicalism in the person of Ninel and in Bertram's early life and towards religious freethought and heresy as exemplified by the Karaites The author also turns a skeptical eye towards what she sees as the thoughtless materialist character of American life Some of the threads of the story do not come together well and there is a sense of coolness and detachment towards the characters This a challenging but rewarding novelRobin Friedman

Cynthia Ozick ê 0 REVIEW

Have embraced the novel which was selected by Ann Patchett for NBC's Today Show Book Club Set in the New York of the 1930s Heir to the Glimmering World is an entrancing richly plotted novel brimming with intriguing characters Orphaned at eighteen with few possessions Rose Meadows finds steady employment with the Mitwisser clan Recently arrived from Berlin the Mitwissers rely on t. The Mitwisser family are exiled Germans living in upstate New York during the Depression and Rose Meadows the narrator answers an ad in the paper looking for rather vague household help Her duties wind up being different things for different members of the family depending on their needs The Mitwissers's benefactor is James A'Bair a malcontent who is popular because of his father's children's story books about the Bear Boy ie James James is loosely based on Christopher Milne the son of AA Milne who is immortalized as Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh something Christopher was sadly never able to remove himself fromI'm happy to be reading authors whose writings are better read personally than explained to someone else Ozick's The Puttermesser Papers felt similarly to me I enjoyed the entire reading process but didn't find myself analyzing or reviewing or editing it in my head as I read To find an author like that who can take me away completely is exciting for me and I want to tell everyone to read her But don't make me explain why Ozick has a way with words and a style entirely her own but as a strong female writer it's hard not to lump her despite everything I believe in not lumping writers together based on gender or topic with Angela Carter or Susan Sontag Perhaps the fact that I'm reading of these authors all around the same time has to do with the categorization than anything else