If not now, When?: A Novel

If not now, When?: A Novel

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Author: Primo Levi

Based on a true story, this novel chronicles the experience of a group of Jewish partisans fighting the Nazis behind enemy lines during the final year of World War II. Primo Levi’s powerful novel is equal parts suspenseful and philosophical.

World War II is in its final throes. As the Nazis retreat from the Red Army, much of Europe is left in total devastation. Against this backdrop, the watchmaker Mendel, who lost his wife and entire village to the Nazis, meets Leonid, a teenage escapee from a concentration camp. Stranded behind German lines, the pair makes their way through a desolate landscape to join a group of resistance fighters intent on sabotaging the enemy and liberating Jewish prisoners.

An epic story stretching from the eastern Soviet Union to northern Italy, If Not Now, When? is a novel about acts of resistance—both small and large—against impossible odds.


384 pages