Synopses & Reviews
Vienna, 1948. The war is over, and as the initial phase of denazification winds down, the citizens of Vienna struggle to rebuild their lives amidst the rubble.
Anna Beer returns to the city she fled nine years earlier upon discovering her husbands infidelity. She has come back to find him and, perhaps, to forgive him. Traveling on the same train from Switzerland is eighteen-year-old Robert Seidel, a schoolboy summoned home to his stepfathers sickbed and the secrets of his familys past.
As Anna and Robert navigate a damaged, unrecognizable city, they cross paths with a war-widowed American journalist, a hunchbacked young girl, and a former POW whose primary purpose is to survive, by any means. Meanwhile, in the shells of burned-out houses and beneath the bombed-out ruins, a ghost of a man, his head wrapped in a red scarf, battles demons from his past and hides from a future deeply uncertain for all.
In The Crooked Maid, Dan Vyleta returns to the shadows of a war-darkened Vienna, in a thrilling and atmospheric story of blame, guilt, and restitution.
“Gracefully executed . . . Dramatic.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A true storyteller who is also a prose stylist.” —The National Post
“Farcical, Kafkaesque . . . should appeal to fans of . . . Heinrich Böll.” —Publishers Weekly
"A psychological novel . . . [It] conjures up the stifling atmosphere of shame and deception of the postwar period and hints at escape through Vienna's own 'talking cure'—openness and honesty." —Booklist"Conveys the sparse, foreboding mood of Poe or Dostoevsky . . . Vyleta masterfully weaves his characters together in the light and shadow of war-torn Vienna." —Shelf Awareness (starred review)
About the Author
Dan Vyleta is the son of Czech refugees who emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Cambridge. His previous novels, Pavel & I and The Quiet Twin, were published to international acclaim. Vyleta lives in Canada and the United States.
Dan Vyleta on PowellsBooks.Blog
We like origin tales. Creation myths. At the dawn of time — before there was time — there was nothing. Then: a bang, Big, we are told, yet infinitesimally small; a pinprick from which the universe unfolds. A word (the word!); then: light...