InTheWarsawAnagrams, his eighth published novel, Richard Zimler has reached the very heart of his essential theme: the Holocaust itself. It is as if, in his previous books, dealing with the persecutions of Jews and of non-Jews—whether people in colonial India (Guardian of the Dawn), enslaved Africans in the United States (Hunting Midnight), Germans (The Seventh Gate), or Palestinians (The Search for Sana)—he had been approaching, in ever-narrowing circles, this extraordinarily painful moment.

Zimler, who was over forty when his first novel was published and is now only in his fifties, has a considerable body of work behind him, most notably the four novels in his Sephardic Cycle featuring members of the Zarco family. The four are set in different historical periods, cities, and countries. The first, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon (1998), tackles the...

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