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by Martin A. David

224 pages
Imagination is powerful. It can drive a man into hiding. It can connect him with a past that is not really his own. It can fill the spaces in his mind until there is no more room for reality. He suffers the impact of the holocaust even though he never leaves the safety of his American homeland.

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Category: Fiction
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About the Book
Theodore Karpstein was born in the shadow of World War II and was not allowed to move out of that shadow. His family filled his mind with stories of death and destruction that cover a century or more of their own history and that of their distant relatives. Tales of injustice, of revolution, of pogroms, and of the holocaust become his bedtime narratives.

Karpstein wants to be the hero of the stories he hears—and to revenge the wrongs he hears about. In his mind he is both hero and avenger. His own experiences merge with and reinforce the accounts that have filled his mind from a young age.

After a series of misfortunes push Karpstein into a period of homelessness he finds a hiding place in a mysterious and possibly haunted building. The building, with its many forgotten rooms and passageways becomes a character in Karpstein’s saga of self-imposed exile. Karpstein’s solitary life in hiding sets free all the demons that filled his imagination. He is surrounded by them in descriptions that use the literary technique of Magic Realism to engage the reader in the main character’s hallucinations.

Theodore Karpstein is part of a forgotten generation who suffered psychological wounds although they were far from the actual horrors of the holocaust. They are a forgotten generation They are marked with survivor guilt for the tragic deaths of people they never met.


I wept when I followed this man through his hidden passageways. I wept tears of recognition. Karpstein is of my generation and I am of his. We are a generation with a secret pain. Karpstein and I--and millions of others--heard of the holocaust and the pogroms, knew of them, learned about them; all from a great distance. We were afraid and hurt and angry--from a great distance. We were and are frustrated at the horrors we could not do anything about. Thank G-d that most of us chose life. Most of us came out into the sunshine. Karpstein stands for the thousands who were survivors who didn't survive. Karpstein's flight into the darkness serves to remind us of the hiding part of our generation; of those who were eaten by the distant monster. The novel is a beautiful river of language that sometimes seems like a long poem. It has been created with a craftsmanship that one seldom sees in modern writing. Once you have read it you will give Karpstein a hiding place inside your own mind.
- Rabbi Menachem Cohen


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  • About Two Families by Martin A. David
    When violence, political upheaval, and the shadow of an impending war drove them out of Europe, two families set sail for the “golden land” of America. Their paths different. This is the story of the adventures that brought them together.


About the Author
Martin A. David Martin A. David is a self-described "wanderer" whose lifestyle was informed and influenced by the Beat Generation. David’s writings range from essays, to magazine and newspaper articles, columns, books, and poetry. His books include Shtetl in My Mind, a book of short stories, and Voice Versa—A Lifetime of Poetry.



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