I Am the Clay

I Am the Clay

Book - 1992
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"Potok writes powerfully about the suffering of innocent people caught in the cross-fire of a war they cannot begin to understand....Humanity and compassion for his characters leap from every page." SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE As the Chinese and the army of the North sweep south during the Korean War, an old peasant farmer and his wife flee their village across the bleak, bombed-out landscape. They soon come upon a boy in a ditch who is wounded and unconscious. Stirred by possessiveness and caring the woman refuses to leave the boy behind. The man thinks she is crazy to nurse this boy, to risk their lives for some dying stranger. Angry and bewildered, he waits for the boy to die. And when the boy does not die, the old man begins to believe that the boy possesss a magic upon which all their lives depend....
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1992
ISBN: 9780679411956
Branch Call Number: FIC Potok 05ad 01
Characteristics: 211 p


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Jul 05, 2013

During the Korean War, an elderly childless couple, refugees, find a boy near death and rescue him. This details their life afterwards. Very well done; unlike most stories of this ilk, the couple’s reactions to the new “member of the family” are complex and very human, and not easily smoothed out. So is the boy’s reaction. It’s a grim but hopeful book. Not as good as Potok’s usual stories of Jewish New Yorkers, or perhaps I don’t like stories about bare survival as well as high-flung psychology—but definitely worth a read.

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