World War II Archive

Abiding Cruelty in Marianne Fritz’s The Weight of Things

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Translated from German into English in 2015, Austrian author Marianne Fritz’s The Weight of Things presents domesticity and motherhood as intolerable, even unbearable, in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Big Picture, Small Picture: Context for Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five

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Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, published March 31, 1969, follows anti-hero Billy Pilgrim, inspired by Edward Crone Jr., as he survives the Battle of the Bulge, German internment, and the Dresden firebombing, finally settling into a comfortable life as an optometrist in upstate New York.

The Impact of Expat Writers in Uncertain Times: Patrick Leigh Fermor

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The year was 1944. Special Operations Executive officer Patrick “Paddy” Leigh Fermor, having spent a year in Cairo, returned to the occupied island of Crete to kidnap a German general. The incident would come to be known as the Kidnap, or Abduction, of General Kreipe.

Review: SWEET CARESS by William Boyd

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Sweet Caress William Boyd Bloomsbury, September 15, 2015 449 pp, $28 Buy here Sweet Caress is the newest novel from the acclaimed William Boyd, author of notable works such as Any Human Heart and A Good Man in Africa. The novel centers on Amory Clay, one of the first

“So that the poem is an act of discovery”: An Interview with Brian Komei Dempster

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Brian Komei Dempster received the 15 Bytes Book Award in Poetry for his debut collection, Topaz (Four Way Books, 2013), which examines the experiences of a Japanese American family separated and incarcerated in American World War II prison camps. Through their interwoven narratives, his poems show us how the past

Bring In the Old: The Writer as Collector

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There was a time in my mid-twenties when I was unhappy, for reasons that now seem ridiculous to me but were no less potent because of their ridiculousness. I wanted to be a writer, but I worked a business consulting job from home and spent a lot of time

The Fall of the Stone City

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[Editor’s note: this post was contributed by Joshua Garstka.] The Fall of the Stone City Ismail Kadare (translated by John Hodgson) Grove Press, February 2013 168 pages $23.00 Gjirokastër was not as wise as it should have been. Or perhaps it was wiser. It came to the same thing.

Minuet For Guitar

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Minuet For Guitar (In Twenty-Five Shots) Vitomil Zupan, trans. Harry Leeming Dalkey Archive, December 2011 400 pages $23.95 Scope: microscopic to galactic Tones: philosophical, dark, sarcastic With: tiny flecks of the bucolic Concerning: Slovenian partisan Berk, fighting in World War II As well as: former German soldier Joseph Bitter,