Anne Berest’s luminous, moving, and unforgettable new book The Postcard is the most acclaimed and beloved French novel in recent years.
At once a gripping investigation into family secrets, a poignant tale of mothers and daughters, and an enthralling portrait of 20th-century Parisian intellectual and artistic life, The Postcard tells the story of a family devastated by the Holocaust and yet somehow restored by love and the power of storytelling. Heartbreaking, funny, atmospheric, and a sheer joy to read, The Postcard is certain to find fans among readers of Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française, Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.
January 2003. Together with the usual holiday cards, an anonymous postcard is delivered to the Berest family home. On the front, a photo of the Opéra Garnier in Paris; on the back, the four names of Anne Berest’s maternal great-grandparents, Ephraïm and Emma, and their children, Noémie and Jacques—all of whom died at Auschwitz in 1942.
Almost twenty years after the postcard is delivered, Anne is moved to discover who sent it, and why. Aided by her chain-smoking mother, countless family, friends, and associates, a private detective, a graphologist, and many others, she embarks on a journey to uncover the fate of the Rabinovitch family: their flight from Russia following the revolution, their journey to Latvia, Palestine, and Paris, the war and its aftermath. What emerges is a thrilling and sweeping tale that shatters her certainties about her family, her country, and herself.
The great granddaughter of Spanish-born artist Francis Picabia and French Resistance fighter Gabriële Buffet-Picabia (Marcel Duchamp’s lover and muse), Anne Berest is an actor and author. She has been profiled in Vogue (France), Haaretz newspaper, and has also been a Chanel ambassador. She is a prize-winning showrunner. With her sister Claire Berest, Berest wrote a biography of her great grandmother entitled Gabriële. She is also the author of a novel based on Françoise Sagan and the best-selling work of nonfiction How to be Parisian Wherever You Are (Doubleday, 2014), which was translated into thirty-five languages. Her novel The Postcard has won numerous awards, was a finalist for the Goncourt Prize, and was a best-seller in France.