Anna Funder is the acclaimed author of Stasiland.
Funder follows the success of Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall with a debut novel "reconstructed from fossil fragments, much as you might draw skin and feathers over an assembly of dinosaur bones, to fully see the beast." Ruth Becker glimpses that beast outside her Berlin apartment in 1933, as her showy journalist husband, Hans, makes mojitos on the day that Hitler is appointed chancellor of Germany. The heart of the novel, however, belongs to Ruth's cousin Dora Fabian, leftist agitator, doomed idealist, and soul mate of playwright Ernst Toller. Ruth helps Dora hide Ernst's writings as the Reichstag burns, and she flees with Hans the next day after being questioned about her Communist affiliations. Outside Germany, she works tirelessly for the cause, bringing Nazi preparations for war to the attention of the British. But her relationship with Hans, whose secret activities endanger everyone, crumbles. As the Holocaust begins, Ernst, in New York, relates Dora's role in his life to a typist whose document reaches Ruth in Australia almost 60 years later. By alternating between Ernst and Ruth, Funder leaps through time with alacrity. She adds an integral perspective on a shopworn subject by invoking the lives of Nazi dissidents whose attempts to alert the world to the growing menace were ignored until it was too late. Agent: Sarah Chalfant, the Wylie Agency. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Morally fervent fiction, inspired by the story of a German-Jewish activist during World War II; from the author of Samuel Johnson Prize winner Stasiland. (LJ 1/12) (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.