A woman is murdered during a terrorist attack, leaving her three sons in the care of their grandmother, Lilli. As the four prepare to celebrate Christmas without her, Lilli is drawn into a lonely world of memories, forced to confront the horrors of the Nazi persecution she managed to survive. After losing her entire family in the Holocaust, Lilli finds that it is this final death–that of her daughter–that allows her to reach out to the next generation and, with them, forge a unique path toward peace and reconciliation.
Peter Rushforth’s brilliant first novel, Kindergarten, was published in 1979 and won the Hawthorden Prize (awarded to the best work of imaginative literature.) After an absence of twenty-five years he returned to the literary scene in 2004 with the epic novel Pinkerton’s Sister, which charmed critics at the Washington Post, New Yorker, and San Francisco Chronicle and was named a Booksense selection in March 2005. In the fall of 2005 Rushforth finished a sequel to Pinkerton’s Sister, an elegant novel entitled A Dead Language.
Sadly, following his final revisions to his work, Peter Rushforth passed away while walking on his beloved Yorkshire Moors. A Dead Language was published posthumously in the U.K. by Simon & Schuster.
“This quite extraordinary book has the intense, deeply focused power of cultural meditation, on certain themes of suffering, of childhood and family, triumphant in this almost unbearable world.”
— New York Times Book Review
Publication Date: November 6, 2006
trim size: 7.9 x 5 x 0.6