Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What is Andromeda Romano-Lax reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Andromeda Romano-Lax, author of The Detour.

Her entry begins:
I tend toward older classics from the 1910s through 1960s, but lately I’ve been catching a more contemporary—and metaphysical—vibe. The two novels fighting for prime position on my nightstand are The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer and The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta.

Both Wolitzer and Perrotta are great at skewering middle-class suburbia, while still granting us the humane pleasure of getting to know sympathetic, complex characters. I bought these books together as a birthday present to myself, thinking the authors shared some stylistic elements, without realizing that...[read on]
About the book, from the publisher:
Ernst Vogler is twenty-four years old in 1938, an employee of the Third Reich's Sonderprojekt, which is carrying out the F├╝hrer's designs to collect the great art of Europe. A country on the eve of inevitable war, Germany is an unhappy place for artistic, apolitical Vogler, especially when his mentor disappears without explanation. Before he can learn the reason, Vogler is given an assignment: travel to Italy and collect a famous Classical Roman statue, the Discus Thrower, and get it to the German border, where it will be turned over to Gestapo custody. It is a simple, three-day job.

Things start to go wrong almost immediately. The Italian twin brothers who have been hired to escort Vogler to the border seem to have priorities besides the task at hand - wild romances, perhaps even criminal activities on the side - and Vogler quickly loses control of the assignment. The twins set off on a dangerous detour and Vogler realizes he will be lucky to escape this venture with his life, let alone his job. With nothing left to lose, the young German gives himself over to the Italian adventure, and to the surprising love and losses along the way.
Learn more about the book and author at Andromeda Romano-Lax's website.

Romano-Lax worked as a freelance journalist and travel writer before turning to fiction. Her first novel, The Spanish Bow, was translated into eleven languages and was chosen as a New York Times Editors’ Choice, BookSense pick, and one of Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year.

The Page 69 Test: The Spanish Bow.

The Page 69 Test: The Detour.

Writers Read: Andromeda Romano-Lax.

--Marshal Zeringue