Jacob Paul’s novel, Last Tower to Heaven (C&R Press), grapples with what it means to derive agency and identity from collective trauma, with what it means to be at once a dream of the Holocaust and, yet, messily alive in our world. Ultimately, that struggle forces J to learn how to build a story out of love, for his love.
“‘Jacob Paul,’ the protagonist of Jacob Paul’s newest experimental novel. Last Tower to Heaven asks us to consider when, and how, we can ever consider ourselves “separate” from the past. How can we be assured that, as writers and historians, we have represented history, and that history hasn’t represented, and even invented, us? Who, or what, is “Jacob Paul,” and how can we ever truly remove ourselves from the traumatic histories that inform our family narratives, our communal narratives, and our very identities?” –Paisley Rekdal, author of Nightingale and Imaginary Vessels