In 1939, the families in a remote Jewish village in Romania feel the war close in on them. Their tribe has moved and escaped for thousands of years – across oceans, deserts, and mountains – but now, it seems, there is nowhere else to go. Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless. At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger who has washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world: deny any relationship with the known and start over from scratch. Destiny is unwritten. Time and history are forgotten. Jobs, husbands, a child, are reassigned. And for years, there is boundless hope.
But the real world continues to unfold alongside the imagined one, eventually overtaking it, and soon our narrator – the girl, grown into a young mother – must flee her village, move from one world to the next, to find her husband and save her children, and propel them toward a real and hopeful future. A beguiling, imaginative, inspiring story about the bigness of being alive as an individual, as a member of a tribe, and as a participant in history, No One Is Here Except All Of Us explores how we use storytelling to survive and shape our own truths. It marks the arrival of a major new literary talent.
About the Author
Ramona Ausubel has been published in The New Yorker, One Story, The Paris Review Daily, The Best American Fantasty and elsewhere and has received special mentions in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and was a finalist for the Puschcart Prize. She is a recipient of the Glenn Schaeffer Award in Fiction and a graduate of the MFA program at the University of California, Irvine.
It is 1939 in Zalischik, a remote Jewish village in Romania where, despite its seclusion from the outside world, war is closing in. Ausubel’s varying writing style of elegance and lyricism alternates between first and third person, making for a stunning debut with a moving narrative that underscores the importance of stories and the people who survive to tell them.