The saga of a Jewish-Hungarian family, led by their matriarch Anna—also known as "the General."
Publication Date: 05-01-1992
Highly praised when first published in 1960 (Kirkus Reviews called it "distinguished"), Anna Teller portrays the saga of a Jewish-Hungarian family through three quarters of a century in Europe and the United States. We see seventy-four-year-old Anna, known to her family as "the General", first running a farm and a mill after her husband's death, then helping to keep another woman alive during the worst of the Nazi occupation, and later as an elderly woman fighting the Russians during the failed Hungarian revolt of 1956.
The core of the novel lies in Anna's stormy relationship with her son and his American family, fueled by mutual guilt at the death of relatives in the concentration camps. Anna's adjustment to the baffling mores of a new country, as well as the final making peace with her family, give the novel a powerful emotional resonance shared by the best of family sagas.
"The words born again (and again) are right for Jo Sinclair, whose important and interesting work has been hidden from us for decades. How wonderful for new readers (and the rest of us) to have her work in print again." —Grace Paley, author of The Little Disturbances of Man
"[Anna Teller] is a chronicle of our times, a story of memorable, vital people who are searching for love and understanding from each other; and of the matriarch Anna Teller whose great strength is her one weakness." —Library Journal
"Jo Sinclair has drawn a sincere and serious portrait of a larger-than-lifesize figure, and half a dozen smaller ones." —New York Times Book Review