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Trudi Montag is a Zwerg - a dwarf - short, undesirable, different, the plucky but sometimes defeated voice of anyone who has ever tried to fit in. Eventually she learns that being different is a secret that all humans share - from her mother who flees into madness, to her childhood friend Georg whose parents always wanted a girl, and therefore treat him as one, to the Jews Trudi harbours in her cellar when her small town is hit by the lead up to World War II. Ursula Hegi brings us a timeless and unforgettable story in Trudi and a small German town, weaving together a profound tapestry of emotional power, humanity, and truth.
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About the Author

Ursula Hegi lived the first eighteen years of her life in Germany. In addition to STONES FROM THE RIVER, she is the author of THE VISION OF EMMA BLAU, FLOATING IN MY MOTHER'S PALM, INTRUSIONS and UNEARNED PLEASURES AND OTHER STORIES. She lives in New York.

Reviews

At the beginning of World War I, Trudi Montag, a dwarf, is born to an unstable mother and a gentle father in a small Rheinish town. Through the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich into the era following World War II she first struggles with--and later draws strength and wisdom from--her inability to fit into a conformist and repressive society. As the town's librarian and historian, Trudi keeps track of many secrets, revealing the universality of her experience. While Hegi's ( Floating in My Mother's Palm , LJ 5/15/90) treatment of history and politics is engaging, her novel's appeal lies in the humanity of its characters. Particularly strong is her portrayal of, and insight into, the community of women and children as they react to changing conditions in the town. A sensitive and rewarding book.-- Michael T. O'Pecko, Towson State Univ., Md.

A dwarf woman struggles to find acceptance in her small German town in this novel spanning both world wars. (Apr.)

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