I first read this book in college for a Magical Realism class. I was struggling with the unfamiliar genre and found the first few books weird and extremely difficult to comprehend. Then I started reading See Under: Love. It was an eye-opening experience, literally. I devoured it and the whole time I was reading I could feel the wide-eyed expression on my face. It was the first, but not the last, book that had ever done that to me. That was 12 years ago. In those 12 years, I forgot the title of the book, but never it’s impact. I thought about it when I went to the library but the librarians weren’t able to help me find the book based on my description. I asked a friend who worked at Borders to help, to no avail. I eventually found what I was looking for on goodreads.com. I ordered it from an online used bookstore and I just started reading it again. It’s every bit as wonderful as I remember.
The story is about the consequences of the Holocaust on survivors, their children, and the Jewish people. It’s a tale of history and transcendence. If you’ve never read Magical Realism before, it takes some getting used to, but it’s well worth the effort. My only regret is that I can’t read it in the original Hebrew, a language of poetic nuance that I fear may be lost in translation. As much as I love this book, I can’t help but wonder what I’m missing. (Note: If you’re not familiar with Bruno Schulz and his novel Street of Crocodiles, I recommend at least doing a quick Google search, as Part II of See Under: Love is directly related to it. It’s not necessary, but will greatly enhance the experience.)