Sunday, May 26, 2019

What is Jennifer Cody Epstein reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Jennifer Cody Epstein, author of Wunderland: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
I currently have several books in bedside rotation (pretty standard practice for me):

The Unconsoled (Kazuo Ishiguro). A lyrical, dark, and subtly surreal novel about a famous pianist who comes to an unnamed Central European city to give the performance of his life, but instead finds himself being sent off on endless distractions and errands by the townspeople he encounters. I’ve loved other of Ishiguro’s novels—in particular, Never Let Me Go—and while this is a radically different and somewhat more challenging read for me (it’s a bit like being trapped in a very beautifully-rendered anxiety dream) I’m finding it both inspiring and compelling. It reminds me a little of...[read on]
About Wunderland, from the publisher:
East Village, 1989
Things had never been easy between Ava Fisher and her estranged mother Ilse. Too many questions hovered between them: Who was Ava’s father? Where had Ilse been during the war? Why had she left her only child in a German orphanage during the war’s final months? But now Ilse’s ashes have arrived from Germany, and with them, a trove of unsent letters addressed to someone else unknown to Ava: Renate Bauer, a childhood friend. As her mother’s letters unfurl a dark past, Ava spirals deep into the shocking history of a woman she never truly knew.

Berlin, 1933
As the Nazi party tightens its grip on the city, Ilse and Renate find their friendship under siege—and Ilse’s increasing involvement in the Hitler Youth movement leaves them on opposing sides of the gathering storm. Then the Nuremburg Laws force Renate to confront a long-buried past, and a catastrophic betrayal is set in motion…

An unflinching exploration of Nazi Germany and its legacy, Wunderland is a at once a powerful portrait of an unspeakable crime history and a page-turning contemplation of womanhood, wartime, and just how far we might go in order to belong.
Learn more about the novel and author at Jennifer Cody Epstein's website.

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--Marshal Zeringue