Kingdom of Twilight
By Steven Uhly
A ground-breaking, thrilling historical saga that follows the quest for identity and home in a traumatised post-war world
HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH - THE TIMES
One night in autumn 1944, a gunshot echoes through the alleyways of a small town in occupied Poland. An S.S. officer is shot dead by a young Polish Jew, Margarita Ejzenstain. In retaliation, his commander orders the execution of thirty-seven Poles - one for every year of the dead man's life. First hidden by a German couple, Margarita must then flee the brutal advance of the Soviet army with her new-born baby.
So begins a thrilling panorama of intermingled destinies and events that reverberate from that single act of defiance. KINGDOM OF TWILIGHT follows the lives of Jewish refugees and a German family resettled from Bukovina, as well as a former S.S. officer, chronicling the geographical and psychological dislocation generated by war. A quest for identity and truth takes them from Displaced Persons camps to Lübeck, Berlin, Tel Aviv and New York, as they try to make sense of a changed world, and of their place in it.
Hypnotically lyrical and intensely moving, Steven Uhly's epic novel is a finely nuanced and yet shattering exploration of universal themes: love, hatred, doubt, survival, guilt, humanity and redemption.
For readers of HHHH by Laurent Binet, THE KINDLY ONES by Jonathan Littell, THE ZONE OF INTEREST by Martin Amis, and ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr
Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch
Steven Uhly was born in 1964 in Cologne and is of German-Bengali descent, and partially rooted in Spanish culture. He has studied literature, served as the head of an institute in Brazil, and translated poetry and prose from Spanish, Portuguese, and English. He lives in Munich with his family. His book Adams Fuge was granted the "Tukan Preis" of the city of Munich in 2011. His novel Glückskind (2012) was filmed as a primetime production by director Michael Verhoeven for ARTE and the 1st German Channel ARD.
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- Publication date:
11 Jan 2018
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A novel about the aftermath of the war, the tribulations of uneasy peace and the violent birth of Israel . . . KINGDOM OF TWILIGHT is powerful and original — Antonia Senior, The Times
Uhly skilfully unrolls an epic canvas yet rarely loses sight of the individual details that bring his characters to life — Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
A gripping, thoroughly researched novel . . . Steven Uhly's Kingdom of Twilight should be at the centre of literary debate — Süddeutsche Zeitung
One of the most important and powerful novels of recent German literature — Deutschlandradio Kultur