Book details

Kantika

A Novel

Author: Elizabeth Graver

Kantika

Kantika

$27.99

About This Book

A dazzling Sephardic multigenerational saga that moves from Istanbul to Barcelona, Havana, and New York, exploring displacement, endurance, and family as home.

A kaleidoscopic...

Page Count
304
On Sale
04/18/2023

Book Details

A dazzling Sephardic multigenerational saga that moves from Istanbul to Barcelona, Havana, and New York, exploring displacement, endurance, and family as home.

A kaleidoscopic portrait of one family’s displacement across four countries, Kantika—“song” in Ladino—follows the joys and losses of Rebecca Cohen, feisty daughter of the Sephardic elite of early 20th-century Istanbul. When the Cohens lose their wealth and are forced to move to Barcelona and start anew, Rebecca fashions a life and self from what comes her way—a failed marriage, the need to earn a living, but also passion, pleasure and motherhood. Moving from Spain to Cuba to New York for an arranged second marriage, she faces her greatest challenge—her disabled stepdaughter, Luna, whose feistiness equals her own and whose challenges pit new family against old.

Exploring identity, place and exile, Kantika also reveals how the female body—in work, art and love—serves as a site of both suffering and joy. A haunting, inspiring meditation on the tenacity of women, this lush, lyrical novel from Elizabeth Graver celebrates the insistence on seizing beauty and grabbing hold of one’s one and only life.

Imprint Publisher

Metropolitan Books

ISBN

9781250869845

In The News

“Intimately imagined, lyrically written, and rich with historical detail, Kantika weaves forced displacement, wild reinvention and triumphant healing into a big, border-crossing family saga. Marvelous!”
—Gish Jen, author of Thank You, Mr. Nixon

“Both epic and heartfelt, Kantika belongs in the company of the great twentieth-century immigrant Jewish writers, such as Saul Bellow, Cynthia Ozick, Grace Paley, and Henry Roth.”
—Joshua Henkin, author of Morningside Heights

“A gorgeous accomplishment. In intimate and inventive prose, Elizabeth Graver carries us to the vibrantly drawn streets of Constantinople, Barcelona, Havana and New York. We follow her remarkable characters through grief and hope, and into human connections as delicate as they are profound. This is a novel to get lost in.”
—Rachel Kadish, author of The Weight of Ink

This utterly captivating novel illuminates how one family's history is history. Astonishing work, reminiscent, to my mind, of the best of the great Italian writer Elsa Morante.
—Peter Orner, author of Maggie Brown & Others

“From the first page, I was swept up and carried along on the migrations of an unforgettable family. Kantika is a gripping story of 20th-century Sephardic exile and reinvention and the longing for homes, both old and new.”
—Tova Mirvis, author of The Book of Separation

“In gorgeous detail, this epic family story restores a lost time and place. Kantika is both an immigrant tale and a hero’s journey as Graver’s extraordinary characters—first among them the indomitable Rebecca—travel between worlds and find ways to refashion their lives.”
—Allegra Goodman, author of Sam

“Kantika is a beautiful, moving and splendidly entertaining evocation of a lost world. Elizabeth Graver looks back at family history with a novelist's eye and a poet's empathy.”
—John Banville, author of The Singularities

About the Creators

Kantika

Kantika

$27.99