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The Dark Room

by

The Dark Room Cover

 

Awards

Shortlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Rachel Seiffert's absorbing, internationally acclaimed debut explores the modern German psyche through the experiences of three ordinary people.

At the onset of World War II, a young photographer's assistant is kept out of the war due to a physical disability, and instead spends his time capturing on film the changing temper of Berlin, the city he loves. Just weeks after Germany's surrender, a teenage girl whose parents have been taken into allied custody leads her siblings on a harrowing journey to find their grandmother. And two generations after the war, a teacher searches for the reason why the Russians imprisoned his beloved grandfather. Evoking the experiences of the individual with astonishing emotional depth and psychological acuity, The Dark Room develops a portrait of the twentieth century in all its drama and complexity.

Review:

"Seiffert's deliberately dispassionate narrative works to capture the rigid and self-righteous convictions of Germany's general population....[This] tale gives a more complete, comprehensible picture of incomprehensible evil." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[An] ambitious and powerful first novel....Seiffert writes lean, clean prose. Deftly, she hangs large ideas on the vivid private experiences of her principal characters..." David Sacks, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"This lyrical debut collection of novellas explores the experience of 'ordinary' Germans...and poses questions about the country's psychological and political inheritance with rare insight and humanity." The New Yorker

Review:

"Seiffert gives us pictures as evocative as they are ghostly, as fragmented as they are telling. The novel unfolds as a triptych...[of] ordinary people...whom Seiffert brilliantly captures in her lens." The Los Angeles Times

Review:

"A novel about the German soul in the 20th century, this debut work stuns with its simplicity of style and hugeness of subject." The Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"[P]owerful and elegant....Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults." KLIATT

Review:

"Each of these compelling, wholly believable stories lends additional perspective to our understanding of the period." Library Journal

Review:

"Rachel Seiffert writes movingly about three generations of Germans confined by selective blindness and silence: a patriotic photographer who limits his vision to the eye of the camera; a courageous refugee girl who stays focused on her own family's suffering; and a teacher who is compelled and yet terrified to pursue his search for the truth. Outstanding." Ursula Hegi, author of Stones from the River

Review:

"Rachel Seiffert's storytelling is completely absorbing and finally overwhelming in its detail, its relentless action, and its beautiful, shy eloquence. The Dark Room, in its strategies for approaching the unwatchable, the unseeable, is brilliant, and in its closing pages, it brings to light a set of images that no reader is ever likely to forget." Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

Synopsis:

Rachel Seifferts absorbing, internationally acclaimed debut explores the modern German psyche through the experiences of three ordinary people.

At the onset of World War II, a young photographers assistant is kept out of the war due to a physical disability, and instead spends his time capturing on film the changing temper of Berlin, the city he loves. Just weeks after Germanys surrender, a teenage girl whose parents have been taken into allied custody leads her siblings on a harrowing journey to find their grandmother. And two generations after the war, a teacher searches for the reason why the Russians imprisoned his beloved grandfather. Evoking the experiences of the individual with astonishing emotional depth and psychological acuity, The Dark Room develops a portrait of the twentieth century in all its drama and complexity.

About the Author

Rachel Seiffert was born in England in 1971 and now lives in Germany.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375726323
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Vintage
Author:
Seiffert, Rachel
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage International
Publication Date:
October 8, 2002
Binding:
Undefined
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.10x5.16x.63 in. .45 lbs.

Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Dark Room
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 288 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375726323 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Seiffert's deliberately dispassionate narrative works to capture the rigid and self-righteous convictions of Germany's general population....[This] tale gives a more complete, comprehensible picture of incomprehensible evil."
"Review" by , "[An] ambitious and powerful first novel....Seiffert writes lean, clean prose. Deftly, she hangs large ideas on the vivid private experiences of her principal characters..."
"Review" by , "This lyrical debut collection of novellas explores the experience of 'ordinary' Germans...and poses questions about the country's psychological and political inheritance with rare insight and humanity."
"Review" by , "Seiffert gives us pictures as evocative as they are ghostly, as fragmented as they are telling. The novel unfolds as a triptych...[of] ordinary people...whom Seiffert brilliantly captures in her lens."
"Review" by , "A novel about the German soul in the 20th century, this debut work stuns with its simplicity of style and hugeness of subject."
"Review" by , "[P]owerful and elegant....Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults."
"Review" by , "Each of these compelling, wholly believable stories lends additional perspective to our understanding of the period."
"Review" by , "Rachel Seiffert writes movingly about three generations of Germans confined by selective blindness and silence: a patriotic photographer who limits his vision to the eye of the camera; a courageous refugee girl who stays focused on her own family's suffering; and a teacher who is compelled and yet terrified to pursue his search for the truth. Outstanding."
"Review" by , "Rachel Seiffert's storytelling is completely absorbing and finally overwhelming in its detail, its relentless action, and its beautiful, shy eloquence. The Dark Room, in its strategies for approaching the unwatchable, the unseeable, is brilliant, and in its closing pages, it brings to light a set of images that no reader is ever likely to forget."
"Synopsis" by , Rachel Seifferts absorbing, internationally acclaimed debut explores the modern German psyche through the experiences of three ordinary people.

At the onset of World War II, a young photographers assistant is kept out of the war due to a physical disability, and instead spends his time capturing on film the changing temper of Berlin, the city he loves. Just weeks after Germanys surrender, a teenage girl whose parents have been taken into allied custody leads her siblings on a harrowing journey to find their grandmother. And two generations after the war, a teacher searches for the reason why the Russians imprisoned his beloved grandfather. Evoking the experiences of the individual with astonishing emotional depth and psychological acuity, The Dark Room develops a portrait of the twentieth century in all its drama and complexity.

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