By Bernice Rubens Published by Eyre & Spottiswoode Norman is the clever one of a close-knit Jewish family in the East End of London. Infant prodigy; brilliant. Despite the often grim subject matter of her books, Bernice Rubens wrote Her best-known novel, The Elected Member, explored loneliness. The Elected Member is a Booker Prize-winning novel by Welsh writer Bernice Rubens. Plot[edit]. The novel’s main character is Norman Zweck, who is addicted .

Author: Akitilar Galrajas
Country: Guatemala
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Education
Published (Last): 1 November 2015
Pages: 372
PDF File Size: 3.51 Mb
ePub File Size: 7.17 Mb
ISBN: 257-7-55840-838-5
Downloads: 32715
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kagam

His youngest is excommunicated from the family.

It won the Booker Prize in I had never heard of the author or the book before. The ending brings some closure, eledted leaves many questions unanswered; overall, a poignant and very well-written novel.

The Elected Member – Wikipedia

His father, the elderly Rabbi Zweck, and his sister Bella, deci Norman Zweck sees silverfish everywhere he goes. Encouraged by success, she decided to experiment and produced Sunday Besta story about a transvestite gentile schoolmaster. It’s the summer ofthe year of love and hate, of Prague Spring and Cold War winter. From here on is revealed the story of Rabbi’s wife, Sarah and his two daughters, Bella and Esther in relation to this family tragedy.

In a brief flirtation with the stage, she was persuaded to play Wilde’s Salome. The choices they made are not always honourable or in the best interests of the family but themselves and continuing to live together as a unit but operating singularly is untenable. Jan 02, Glen U rated it liked it. Norman, the “elected member”of the title is a child prodigy who speaks many languages and becomes a lawyer but is addicted to amphetami This Booker Prize winner is a strange little novel, maybe you have to be Jewish to really engage with it.

Fortunately, while the reference may date The Elected Memberit doesn’t prevent it from resonating today. May 02, Lynda rated it liked it Shelves: Rubens deftly uses her humor to lay bare the sadness of this life, made sadder because Norman could not see it himself.

Always especially nice to have that happen when your expectations were a little low to start with. Sphere Happiness for Humans P.


The Elected Member

Norman is the clever one of a close-knit Jewish family in the East End of London. Click the button and find it on your computer. Somebody has to carry the burdens of a family, right? His father, the elderly Rabbi Zweck, and his sister Bella, decide that the only option for them is to rubenz him to a mental institution.

Looking back at the Booker: Bernice Rubens

On her memger terms then, The Elected Member is a success. After their separation, she added Miss Havisham to her impromptu ths repertoire, dressing up in her wedding dress, limp floral coronet and moth-eaten veil.

The story is a merger of his family life and his experiences at a mental institution. In she married Rudolf Nassauer, a wine merchant and novelist from a family of rich, assimilated German Jews, very different from her own family.

Feb 19, Tonymess rated it it was amazing. Sep 17, Darryl rated it really liked it. The story opens with Norman Zweck a one time brilliant barrister, the idol of his close-knit Jewish family, confined to his parent’s old bedroom, drug addicted and suffering hallucinations. Fubens Booker Prize winning novel about a close-knit but dysfunctional Jewish family is set in the East End of London in the s.

Book Review: The Elected Member-Bernice Rubens

As a brrnice of old friends from begnice and their families gather to relax and unwind, all are hoping it will be a chance to put the tragic events of the previous year behind them. Her best-known novel, The Elected Member, explored loneliness, failure and the potential destructiveness of family relationships in a compassionate but funny story of dottiness in the East End family of Rabbi Zweck.

The steadily and expertly built tension of Norman and his family’s struggle diffuses into a melodramatic and rather silly conclusion.

Aug 02, Rama rated it it was amazing. In spite of the grim situation at the heart of the story, this book is full of humor and memorable characters. Refresh and try again.

A Five Year Sentence. A wedding invitation arrives in the post: Explorations of the effects of Zweck’s condition on his immediate family are equally unsettling. And it is only when she is asked to write a profile on one of her reclusive neighbours, the once-glamorous film star Elvira Vitale, that Rose feels her new life is really beginning. Quotes from The Elected Member. A beautifully crafted novel. Finally, the depiction of the old Jewish East End, and a way of life that Rubens emphasises was already disappearing as she wrote the book is fascinating in social history.


While they went on to become professional musicians, she nominated for herself the role of “listener”, though in later life she claimed that she would have been happier playing the ‘cello than writing. Well, the context is pretty universal- how we don’t mean to do bad things but the inherent weakness in all of us results in weak actions which in turn bring a lot of misery to ourselves and our families.

Sep 28, Cristina Escobar rated it really liked it Shelves: Also, a back story, pinning a large amount of the blame for Norman’s trouble pace Laing onto a stereotypically domineering Jewish mother and sexual-orientation issues doesn’t convince as completely as the action that takes place in the present.

Norman Zweck is messed up. Addicted to pills and seeing silverfish everywhere, Norman was once the pride This tragicomic novel follows the Zweck family as they deal with loss, not death per say although there is that toobut the loss of dreams, ambitions and hope. As he recuperates in the institution, the three members of the family, and Norman’s estranged sister Esther, reflect on how they reached this critical point.

She was shortlisted again in for A Five Year Sentence, and her winning book was shortlisted with some august company This was an interesting story about a man struggling with mental issues and his family, a Jewish family not quite integrated into American culture. Between novels, Bernice Rubens wrote and directed documentary films, including a series on Indonesia for the UN and an acclaimed Man Alive documentary about the plight of parents of the mentally handicapped; she also worked abroad occasionally as a British Council representative.

It was enriching and educating. Got an opinion on this book?