PREORDER: Permanent for Now by Jeffrey S. Markovitz
Book Title: Permanent for Now
Author: Jeffrey S. Markovitz
List Price: $17.00
Publication Date: 12.18.2018
Permanent for Now is a novel told in three timelines (Dresden, Germany between the world wars; a death camp during WWII; and contemporary America) that examines the binary of good and evil within the individual and the penchant of historical tragedy to determine which power triumphs. It is circumstance and not latent identity that can generate the goodness and evil we believe to be so innate.
An old man, believed to be a Holocaust survivor, maintains an impassable guilt over his survival and befriends a shamed Philadelphia police detective, Lombard South, who persuades the old man to go on a cross-country road trip to visit the Holocaust memorials of various cities in an effort to remember and reconcile past sins.
Interlaced within this narrative are two tangential storylines. In the chronologically earliest timeline, young Mirko Erinnerung lives in impoverished Dresden, Germany between the World Wars, and struggles as he becomes the breadwinner for his family when his brother, Gregor, dies of Spanish influenza. As a messenger boy, Mirko falls in love with archaic Dresden, a city that is doomed to fall during the impending war. This timeline feeds into WWII, where a more mature Mirko has unwittingly joined the Nazi regime in order to satisfy what he mistakenly interpreted as his brother Gregor's dying wish to "make Germany beautiful again." Mirko, stationed at an unnamed prison camp, attempts to rectify his own morality in contrast to what he witnesses at the camp, until he befriends a Kapo whose demise is destined. Through this new friendship, Mirko's anxieties double in the final acknowledgement of the horror he now understands himself to be very much a part.