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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

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The Glass Room

by Simon Mawer - £8.99  Little, Brown Book Group (2010)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780349121321 | ISBN 10: 034912132x

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009.

Cool. Balanced. Modern. The precisions of science, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession and the fear of failure - these are things that happen in the Glass Room.

High on a Czechoslovak hill, the Landauer House shines as a wonder of steel and glass and onyx built specially for newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer, a Jew married to a gentile. But the radiant honesty of 1930 that the house, with its unique Glass Room, seems to engender quickly tarnishes as the storm clouds of WW2 gather, and eventually the family must flee, accompanied by Viktorís lover and her child.

But the houseís story is far from over, and as it passes from hand to hand, from Czech to Russian, both the best and the worst of the history of Eastern Europe becomes somehow embodied and perhaps emboldened within the beautiful and austere surfaces and planes so carefully designed, until events become full-circle.

(Price & availability last checked: October 2018)

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In booklists: World Fiction - Europe, Fiction - World War II, Writers by Surname - M, Historical Fiction, Peace and War in Fiction,
In categories: Fiction, World - Europe, History & Biography, Jewish Diaspora, Peace & Human Rights,

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