Jacob the Liar (Signed copy)

With handwritten letter from Jurek Becker to Arnold Wesker


Jurek Becker, translated and with a preface by Melvin Kornfeld. Dustwrapper design by Seymour Chwast.


Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1975
Jacob the Liar (Signed copy)Jacob the Liar (Signed copy)Jacob the Liar (Signed copy)

Printing Details

First US edition (second printing? B-C-D-E). Hardback in dustwrapper. 20.5 × 14cm, vii + 266pp.

This copy belonged to playwright Arnold Wesker who has signed and dated the ffep. There is also a handwritten letter to Wesker from the author, Jurek Becker, thanking him for a pleasant evening and giving his Berlin phone nunbers (this letter is also signed by Becker's wife, Hannah. And also a typed letter signed from Prof Henry Prais, Dept of Languages at Herriot-Watt University, concerning the translation.

In the midst of a morally inverted universe where the monstrously wicked has become utterly commonplace, Jacob Heym, a yellow star on his chest, gives hope to his fellow ghetto occupants by telling them he has clandestinely overheard a radio report that Russian troops are advancing and will soon liberate the ghetto. One life-sustaining lie leads to another as the former eatery owner, who now does back-breaking forced labor in a freight yard, circulates invented radio news of German defeats and Allied progress. Jacob's stories halt a stream of suicides, even though savage beatings, shootings, executions, starvation and deportations to concentration camps continue unabated. In a moving, almost hallucinatory, narrative that gives voice to a grief beyond words, Becker shows us ordinary people struggling to maintain their humanity and dignity.


The book is in very good condition, with a little light wear to the boards' edges and light tanning to the page edges. The dustwrapper is in good condition with some edge-wear. It has been price-clipped but is now within a protective sleeve.





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Jacob the Liar (Signed copy)Jacob the Liar (Signed copy)Jacob the Liar (Signed copy)

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