The Street Sweeper Synopsis
How breathtakingly close we are to lives that at first seem so far away.
From the civil rights struggle in the United States to the Nazi crimes against humanity in Europe, there are more stories than people passing one another every day on the bustling streets of every crowded city. Only some stories survive to become history.
Recently released from prison, Lamont Williams, an African American probationary janitor in a Manhattan hospital and father of a little girl he can’t locate, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an elderly patient, a Holocaust survivor who was a prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
A few blocks uptown, historian Adam Zignelik, an untenured Columbia professor, finds both his career and his long-term romantic relationship falling apart. Emerging from the depths of his own personal history, Adam sees, in a promising research topic suggested by an American World War II veteran, the beginnings of something that might just save him professionally, and perhaps even personally.
As these men try to survive in early-twenty-first-century New York, history comes to life in ways neither of them could have foreseen. Two very different paths — Lamont’s and Adam’s — lead to one greater story as The Street Sweeper, in dealing with memory, love, guilt, heroism, the extremes of racism and unexpected kindness, spans the twentieth century to the present, and spans the globe from New York to Chicago to Auschwitz.
Epic in scope, this is a remarkable feat of storytelling. (Amazon)
‘What do you mean, “death camp”?’
‘There were exactly six death camps but you could die more than once in any of them.’
(Page 28, Overdrive App, iPad)
I have only just begun reading The Street Sweeper, and I will be reading it for a while because it is 640 pages. But, every single sentence is a gem. Elliot Perlman writes some of the most captivating prose I have ever read. It is both elegant and intellectually stimulating. As you can see from this teaser, the subject matter is confronting…
I was entranced by his previous novel, Seven Types of Ambiguity, and I am having a similar experience with this title (a very different storyline and subject matter ) also.
Looking forward to reading your teasers!
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
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