Study Guide

The History of Love Chapter 3: Forgive Me

By Nicole Krauss

Chapter 3: Forgive Me

  • The third chapter, unlike the first two, is in third-person narration. It tells us about Zvi Litvinoff, the author of The History of Love.
  • Most information about Zvi comes from the introduction to his book, which was written by his wife, Rosa.
  • The lovebirds met outside a café in 1951. Litvinoff was much older than her.
  • They began dating. Only after they became serious did Litvinoff begin reading her passages from the book he was writing, which would become The History of Love.
  • It was originally written in Yiddish. Rosa, devoted lady she was, helped translate it into Spanish.
  • The original Yiddish manuscript was destroyed when their house flooded.
  • Zvi Litvinoff died in 1978.
  • The History of Love was originally published in a small printing of only two thousand copies. One of these copies ended up in a bookstore in Chile.
  • One day, the bookstore owner picked it up and read a chapter called "The Age of Silence" about the time before language existed, when people just communicated through gestures. This allowed them to express themselves more freely, but there were a bunch of misunderstandings too.
  • This is why we still gesture when we speak today (so now you know).
  • The bookstore owner placed the book in the window, where it was eventually purchased by one David Singer—Alma's father.