The first three works by Elie Wiesel are here brought together in one volume, where the terrifying truth of their vision, the stunning simplicity of their art, and the power of their unity achieve epic dimensions.
Night, first published in 1960, is Wiesel's true account of spiritual and national exile and one of the masterpieces of Holocaust literature. The adolescent Elie and his family, among hundreds of thousands of Jews from all parts of Eastern Europe, are cruelly deported from their hometown to the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel writes of their battle for survival, and of his battle with God for a way to understand the wanton cruelty he witnesses each day.
In the short novel Dawn (1961), Elisha - the sole survivor of his family, whose immolation he witnessed at Auschwitz - has survived the Second World War and settled in Palestine. Apprenticed to a Jewish terrorist gang, he is commanded to execute a British officer who has been taken hostage. During the lonely hours before dawn, he meditates on the act of murder he is waiting to commit.
In The Accident, (1962), Wiesel's second novel, Elisha, now a journalist living in New York, is the victim of a nearly fatal automobile accident. This fiction questions the limits of the spirit and the self: Can Holocaust survivors forge a new life without the memories of the old? As the author writes in his introduction, "In Night it is the 'I' who speaks; in the other two [narratives], it is the 'I' who listens and questions."
Wiesel's trilogy offers meditations on mankind's attraction to violence and on the temptation of self-destruction.