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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Burgdorf Cycle #04: Children and Fire

by

Burgdorf Cycle #04: Children and Fire Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The fourth novel in the Burgdorf Cycle

Though more than fifteen years have passed since Ursula Hegi’s Stones from the River captivated critics and readers alike, it retains its popularity, is on academic reading lists, and continues to be adopted by book groups.

Also set in Burgdorf, Germany, Hegi’s Children and Fire tells the story of a single day that will forever transform the lives of the townspeople. At the core of this remarkable novel is the question of how one teacher—gifted and joyful, passionate and inventive—can become seduced by propaganda during the early months of Hitler’s regime and encourage her ten-year-old students to join the “Hitler-Jugend” with its hikes and songs and bonfires. Membership, she believes, will be a step toward better schools, better apprenticeships.

How can a woman we admire choose a direction we don’t admire? So much has changed for the teacher, Thekla Jansen, and the people of Burgdorf in the year since the parliament building burned. Thekla’s lover, Emil Hesping, is sure the Nazis did it to frame the communists. But Thekla believes what she hears on the radio, that the communists set the fire, and she’s willing to relinquish some of her freedoms to keep her teaching position. She has always taken her moral courage for granted, but when each silent agreement chips away at that courage, she knows she must reclaim it.

Hegi funnels pivotal moments in history through the experiences of individual characters: Thekla’s mother, who works as a housekeeper for a Jewish family; her employers, Michel and Ilse Abramowitz; Thekla’s mentally ill father; Trudi Montag and her father, Leo Montag; FrÄulein Siderova, midwife to the dying; and the students who adore their young teacher. As Ursula Hegi writes along that edge where sorrow and bliss meet, she shows us how one society—educated, cultural, compassionate—can slip into a reality that’s fabricated by propaganda and controlled by fear, how a surge of national unity can be manipulated into the dehumanization of a perceived enemy and the justification of torture and murder.

Gorgeously rendered and emotionally taut, Children and Fire confirms Ursula Hegi’s position as one of the most distinguished writers of her generation.

Synopsis:

The fourth novel in the Burgdorf Cycle

Children and Fire tells the story of one day that will forever transform the lives of the people in Burgdorf, Germany, the fictitious village by the river in Ursula Hegi’s bestselling novels. February 27, 1934—the first anniversary of the burning of Reichstag, the Parliament building in Berlin.

Thekla Jansen, a gifted young teacher, loves her students and tries to protect them from the chaos beyond their village. Believing the Nazis’ new regime will not last forever, Thekla begins to relinquish some of her freedoms to keep her teaching position. She has always taken her moral courage for granted, but when each compromise chips away at that courage, she knows she must reclaim it.

Ursula Hegi funnels pivotal moments in history through the experience of Thekla, her students, and the townspeople as she writes along the edge where sorrow and bliss meet, and shows us how one society—educated, cultural, compassionate—can slip into a reality that’s fabricated by propaganda and controlled by fear.

Gorgeously rendered and emotionally taut, Children and Fire confirms Ursula Hegi’s position as one of the most distinguished writers of her generation.

Synopsis:

Now in paperback, the fourth novel in Ursula Hegi’s acclaimed Burgdorf cycle, “a thoughtful, sidelong approach to the worst moment in Germany’s history that invites us to understand how decent people come to collaborate with evil” (Kirkus Reviews).  

Set in Burgdorf, Germany, the fictitious village in which her bestselling novels Stones from the River and The Vision of Emma Blau took place, Children and Fire tells the story of one day that will forever transform the lives of the townspeople.

     At the core of this remarkable novel is the question of how Thekla Jansen can become seduced by propaganda during the early months of Hitler’s regime and encourage her ten-year-old students to join the “Hitler-Jugend.” She believes membership will be a step toward better schools, better apprenticeships. Willing to relinquish some of her freedoms to keep her teaching position, Thekla has always taken her moral courage for granted. But when each silent agreement chips away at that courage, she knows she must reclaim it.

     Hegi writes along that edge where sorrow and bliss meet, showing us how one society can slip into a reality that's fabricated by propaganda and controlled by fear, how a surge of national unity can be manipulated into the dehumanization of a perceived enemy and the justification of torture and murder. “Lyrically written” (Library Journal) and emotionally powerful, Children and Fire confirms Hegi as one of the most distinguished writers of her generation.

About the Author

Ursula Hegi is the author of The Worst Thing I've Done, Sacred Time, Hotel of the Saints, The Vision of Emma Blau, Tearing the Silence, Salt Dancers, Stones from the River, Floating in My Mother's Palm, Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories, Intrusions, and Trudi & Pia. She teaches writing at Stonybrook's Southhampton Campus and she is the recipient of more than thirty grants and awards.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781451608304
Author:
Hegi, Ursula
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20120531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in

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Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Professional Medical Reference
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Burgdorf Cycle #04: Children and Fire Used Trade Paper
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781451608304 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The fourth novel in the Burgdorf Cycle

Children and Fire tells the story of one day that will forever transform the lives of the people in Burgdorf, Germany, the fictitious village by the river in Ursula Hegi’s bestselling novels. February 27, 1934—the first anniversary of the burning of Reichstag, the Parliament building in Berlin.

Thekla Jansen, a gifted young teacher, loves her students and tries to protect them from the chaos beyond their village. Believing the Nazis’ new regime will not last forever, Thekla begins to relinquish some of her freedoms to keep her teaching position. She has always taken her moral courage for granted, but when each compromise chips away at that courage, she knows she must reclaim it.

Ursula Hegi funnels pivotal moments in history through the experience of Thekla, her students, and the townspeople as she writes along the edge where sorrow and bliss meet, and shows us how one society—educated, cultural, compassionate—can slip into a reality that’s fabricated by propaganda and controlled by fear.

Gorgeously rendered and emotionally taut, Children and Fire confirms Ursula Hegi’s position as one of the most distinguished writers of her generation.

"Synopsis" by , Now in paperback, the fourth novel in Ursula Hegi’s acclaimed Burgdorf cycle, “a thoughtful, sidelong approach to the worst moment in Germany’s history that invites us to understand how decent people come to collaborate with evil” (Kirkus Reviews).  

Set in Burgdorf, Germany, the fictitious village in which her bestselling novels Stones from the River and The Vision of Emma Blau took place, Children and Fire tells the story of one day that will forever transform the lives of the townspeople.

     At the core of this remarkable novel is the question of how Thekla Jansen can become seduced by propaganda during the early months of Hitler’s regime and encourage her ten-year-old students to join the “Hitler-Jugend.” She believes membership will be a step toward better schools, better apprenticeships. Willing to relinquish some of her freedoms to keep her teaching position, Thekla has always taken her moral courage for granted. But when each silent agreement chips away at that courage, she knows she must reclaim it.

     Hegi writes along that edge where sorrow and bliss meet, showing us how one society can slip into a reality that's fabricated by propaganda and controlled by fear, how a surge of national unity can be manipulated into the dehumanization of a perceived enemy and the justification of torture and murder. “Lyrically written” (Library Journal) and emotionally powerful, Children and Fire confirms Hegi as one of the most distinguished writers of her generation.

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