- Publisher: Vintage
- ISBN: 978-1869417734
Most novels about the Nazi period portray Germans as the perpetrators of war and genocide. This novel provides an authentic and compelling insight into how ordinary Germans – distinguished only by their artistic skill – suffered under Nazi rule. Vividly told and deeply moving, it is a story of love and artistic aspiration, and of one woman’s struggle to survive.
Based on letters and documents, as well as Philip Temple’s interviews and on-the-ground research, this novel recreates the lives and times of sculptor Hermann Blumenthal, and his writer wife Maria, key members of a community of artists at the heart of Hitler’s Berlin. They were part of an inner circle, passively opposed to the Nazi regime, who were actively persecuted or declared ‘degenerate’, unable to exhibit or sell.
Philip Temple’s gripping narrative describes how they tried to keep alive free-spirited creativity, and the values of a universal humanity, amid the growing terror of a police state. At the end, it explores the tragedy that befell Maria as war brought firebombing and the Russian invasion of Berlin.
It is to Temple’s credit as a non-German fiction writer and historian that he has confronted a dilemma deeply disturbing to so many of our generation. Dieter Riemenschneider in Landfall On-Line.
Temple’s command of the subject is exemplary. History with a heart … featuring real people with whom we can identify and bleed. Otago Daily Times.
Temple makes an outstanding job of Maria. She is gutsy, idealistic and prosaic. He doesn’t shrink from her final distressing decline. NZ Herald.
Trade Paperback: 448 pages. Publisher: Vintage 2006.
Rights Availability: World Rights except NZ and Australia. For rights enquiries contact Nerrilee Weir, NWeir@randomhouse.com.au
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