Eight White Nights: A Novel

  • Review
By – September 8, 2011

In his new nov­el, Andre Aci­man exam­ines love at first sight between two skit­tish New York­ers. The unnamed male narrator’s life is turned upside down by the intro­duc­to­ry words I am Clara,” spo­ken by a beau­ti­ful woman at a hip Upper West Side Christ­mas par­ty. Over the next sev­en meet­ings, the lovers play out their affair against a back­drop of urban cul­ture, New York land­marks, and wealthy friends. 

The two are in an intense roller-coast­er courtship that has them know­ing what the oth­er is think­ing before it’s said. Clara is beau­ti­ful and bizarre, while the nar­ra­tor feels that his new enchant­ment is mov­ing him into a place that he is not ready to go. The sto­ry moves toward a dra­mat­ic end­ing on New Years’ Eve, after eight intense days. 

Who knew that the words I am Clara” could mean so much?

Gary Katz received an MA in Eng­lish from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka-Oma­ha. He is the library admin­is­tra­tor for the Krip­ke Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion Library in Oma­ha, Nebras­ka, one of the largest Judaica libraries in the Unit­ed States.

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