List Price: $ 15.95
Save 25 % off List Price
The Blindness of the Heart : A Novel
Winner of the German Book Prize, The Blindness of the Heart is a dark marvel of a novel by one of Europe's freshest young voices--a family story spanning two world wars and several generations in a German family. In the devastating opening scene, a woman named Helene stands with her seven-year-old son in a provincial German railway station in 1945, amid the chaos of civilians fleeing west. Having survived with him through the horror and deprivation of the war years, she abandons him on the station platform and never returns.
The story quickly circles back to Helene's childhood with her sister Martha in rural Germany, which came to an abrupt end with the outbreak of the First World War. Their father is sent to the eastern front, and their Jewish mother withdraws from the hostility of her surroundings into a state of mental confusion. In the early 1920s, after their father's death, Helene and Martha move to Berlin, where Helene falls in love with a philosophy student named Carl, and finds a place for herself for the first time. But when Carl dies just before their engagement, life becomes largely meaningless for her, and she takes refuge in her work as a nurse. At a party Helene meets an ambitious civil engineer who wants to build motorways for the Reich and make Helene his wife. Their marriage proves disastrous, but produces a son, and Helene soon finds the love demanded by the little boy more than she can provide.
Julia Franck's unforgettable English language debut throws new light on life in early-twentieth-century Germany, revealing the breathtaking scope of its citizens' denial--the "blindness of the heart" that survival often demanded. The reader, however, brings his or her own historical perspective to bear on the events unfolding, and the result is a disturbing and compulsive reading experience about a country ravaged from the inside out.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
October 01, 2010
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Blindness of the Heart by Julia Franck
The Blindness of the Heart
By Julia Franck
Translated from the German by Anthea Bell
You wait here, his mother said when they came to a bench. An old man had just that moment got up from it. Trains leave for Anklam and Angerm�nde from here, perhaps there'll be tickets. I'll be right back. She took Peter by the shoulders and pressed him down on the bench.
I'm hungry, said Peter. Laughing, he clung to her arms.
I'll be right back, she repeated, you wait here.
I'm coming with you, he said.
She said: Let go of me, Peter. But he was already getting to his feet to follow her. At that she thrust the little case his way and pressed him and the case back on the bench. Now that Peter had to hold it on his lap he couldn't reach for her any more.
You wait. She said that sternly. A smile flitted over her face, she patted his cheek and Peter was glad. He thought of the sausages back in Scheune, that lady had been shouting about them, maybe there'd be some sausages here, he'd help his mother look for them, he wanted to help her anyway. He opened his mouth, but she was determined to have her own way, she turned and plunged into the crowd.
** End of Excerpt **