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Fugitive Piecesby Anne Michaels
Synopses & Reviews
"Extraordinarily magical...fierce, deeply unsettling". — The New York Times
Published to rapturous acclaim, this fiercely concentrated and beautifully written novel is a story of unspeakable loss and unhoped-for redemption, of history and memory. It is the story of Jakob Beer, a Polish Jew who at the age of seven sees his parents murdered in the Holocaust, buries himself alive, and is resurrected by a Greek scientist who sees the starving child burst from the mud.
As Jakob flees across Europe and America, he is transformed from a half-wild survivor into a scholar and translator who extracts meaning from the unfathomable horror of our time. Filled with mysterious symmetries and rendered in heart-stopping prose, Fugitive Pieces is a triumphant work of the literary and spiritual imagination.
"Word by blessed word, it is a gorgeously written book: aflame with the subzero cold of history and the passions of emotional comprehension". — Boston Globe
"Lovely...musical and magical.... Put this book alongside The English Patient". — Chicago Tribune
"Anne Michaels has created a world of stunning, heartbreaking clarity where even the unspeakable is captured in the light-web of her words. She is a superb poet, a breath-stopping storyteller." Cristina Garcia
"This extraordinarily beautiful novel is a world. A book miraculously created because it mends the hopeless and dances with loss. Trust and read it." John Berger
A New York Times Notable Book of the YearWinner of the Lannan Literary Fiction AwardWinner of the Guardian Fiction AwardIn 1940 a boy bursts from the mud of a war-torn Polish city, where he has buried himself to hide from the soldiers who murdered his family. His name is Jakob Beer. He is only seven years old. And although by all rights he should have shared the fate of the other Jews in his village, he has not only survived but been rescued by a Greek geologist, who does not recognize the boy as human until he begins to cry. With this electrifying image, Anne Michaels ushers us into her rapturously acclaimed novel of loss, memory, history, and redemption.As Michaels follows Jakob across two continents, she lets us witness his transformation from a half-wild casualty of the Holocaust to an artist who extracts meaning from its abyss. Filled with mysterious symmetries and rendered in heart-stopping prose, Fugitive Pieces is a triumphant work, a book that should not so much be read as it should be surrendered to.
About the Author
Anne Michaels teaches creative writing in Toronto. Her two collections of poetry are The Weight of Oranges (1986), which won the Commonwealth Prize for the Americas, and Miner's Pond (1991), which received the Canadian Authors Award and was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award and the Trillium Award. Fugitive Pieces is her first novel.
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