COMEDY IN A MINOR KEY by Hans Keilson

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Wim and Marie took a great risk welcoming Nico into their home.  Although most people in Holland disapproved of the Nazi occupation, to hide a Jew was a particularly dangerous form of resistance.  But after only a year, they discovered that the only thing more challenging than hiding a live Jew is disposing of a dead one.

Comedy in a Minor Key identifies itself as a “black comedy,” but that label might be misleading.  The novella presents a heartrending situation bluntly with a cold, bitter irony that highlights the absurdity of the situation.  The brief story begins with Nico’s death, then uses flashbacks to provide glimpses of prior events, the challenges, the growing relationships, the emotions and motivations, and the community that developed around hiding a Jew.  It is a short and thought-provoking read that isn’t quite as dark and horrific as much World War II fiction.

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