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The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman Sample Chapter

The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman Sample Chapter

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Published by RandomHouseAU
The remarkable new novel from one of Australia’s finest writers.

How breathtakingly close we are to lives that at first seem so far away.

From the civil rights struggle in the United States to the Nazi crimes against humanity in Europe, there are more stories than people passing each other every day on the bustling streets of every crowded city. Only some survive to become history.

Recently released from prison, Lamont Williams, an African American probationary janitor in a Manhattan hospital and father of a little girl he can't locate, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an elderly patient, a Holocaust survivor who had been a prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau. A few kilometres uptown, Australian historian Adam Zignelik, an untenured Columbia professor, finds both
his career and his long-term romantic relationship falling apart. Emerging out of the depths of his own personal history, Adam sees, in a promising research topic suggested by an American World War II veteran, the beginnings of something that might just save him professionally and perhaps even personally. As these two men try to survive in early twenty-first-century New York, history comes to life in ways neither of them could have foreseen. Two very different paths - Lamont's and Adam's - lead to one greater story as
The Street Sweeper, in dealing with memory, love, guilt, heroism, the extremes of racism and unexpected kindness, spans the twentieth century to the present, and spans the globe from New York to Melbourne, Chicago to Auschwitz.

Epic in scope, this is a remarkable feat of storytelling.
The remarkable new novel from one of Australia’s finest writers.

How breathtakingly close we are to lives that at first seem so far away.

From the civil rights struggle in the United States to the Nazi crimes against humanity in Europe, there are more stories than people passing each other every day on the bustling streets of every crowded city. Only some survive to become history.

Recently released from prison, Lamont Williams, an African American probationary janitor in a Manhattan hospital and father of a little girl he can't locate, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an elderly patient, a Holocaust survivor who had been a prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau. A few kilometres uptown, Australian historian Adam Zignelik, an untenured Columbia professor, finds both
his career and his long-term romantic relationship falling apart. Emerging out of the depths of his own personal history, Adam sees, in a promising research topic suggested by an American World War II veteran, the beginnings of something that might just save him professionally and perhaps even personally. As these two men try to survive in early twenty-first-century New York, history comes to life in ways neither of them could have foreseen. Two very different paths - Lamont's and Adam's - lead to one greater story as
The Street Sweeper, in dealing with memory, love, guilt, heroism, the extremes of racism and unexpected kindness, spans the twentieth century to the present, and spans the globe from New York to Melbourne, Chicago to Auschwitz.

Epic in scope, this is a remarkable feat of storytelling.

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Published by: RandomHouseAU on Sep 23, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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Copyright © Elliot Perlman 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrievalsystem,transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,without the prior written permission of the publisher.
 
 A Vintage book Published by Random House Australia Pty LtdLevel 3, 100 Pacic Highway, North Sydney NSW 2060 www.randomhouse.com.auFirst published by Vintage in 2011Copyright © Elliot Perlman 2011The moral right o the author has been asserted. All rights reserved. No part o this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any person or entity, including internet search engines or retailers, in any orm or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying (except under the statutory exceptions provisions o the Australian
Copyright Act 1968 
), recording, scanning or by any inormation storage and retrieval system without the prior written permission o Random House Australia. Addresses or companies within the Random House Group can be ound at www.randomhouse.com.au/ocesNational Library o AustraliaCataloguing-in-Publication Entry Perlman, Elliot, 1964–The street sweeper/Elliot Perlman.ISBN 978 1 74166 617 5 (pbk.)813.54Cover design by Mary Callahan Author photo by Peter von FelbertInternal design and typesetting by Midland Typesetters, AustraliaPrinted in Australia by Grin Press, an accredited ISO/NZS 14001:2004Environmental Management System printer.
The paper this book is printed on is certifed against theForest Stewardship Council® Standards. Grifn Press holdsFSC chain o custody certifcation SGS-COC-005088. FSCpromotes environmentally responsible, socially benefcialand economically viable management o the world’s orests.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Copyright © Elliot Perlman 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrievalsystem,transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,without the prior written permission of the publisher.
 
1
part one
Seneca,the frst rozen apple juice,enriched with vitamin C.Rich, delicious Seneca . . .
Memory is a wilul dog. It won’t be summoned or dismissed but it cannotsurvive without you. It can sustain you or eed on you. It visits when itis hungry, not when you are. It has a schedule all its own that you cannever know. It can capture you, corner you or liberate you. It can leaveyou howling and it can make you smile.
Rich, delicious Seneca,sweetened naturally.
‘The trick is not to hate yoursel.’ That’s what he’d been told inside. ‘I you can manage not to hate yoursel, then it won’t hurt to rememberalmost anything: your childhood, your parents, what you’ve done or what’s been done to you,’ he was told. But even at the time, it struck Lamont that a lot o the people who had been locked up with him didnot ‘hate themselves’ quite enough. He remembers a lot o the peoplebeing airly orgiving towards themselves. Some, positively brimming with orgiveness or themselves, could not understand it when others
Copyright © Elliot Perlman 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrievalsystem,transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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