Gunnar Kopperud The Time of Light

ISBN 13: 9780747553724

The Time of Light

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9780747553724: The Time of Light
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Framed by the 9-day Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of 1994, "The Time of Light" is skilfully weaved from historical narration and tales - tales of war and tales of women - as two men talk. Markus, a former German soldier devastated by the outbreak of this new war, seeks atonement from an Armenian priest for his part in the Nazi invasion of Russia. Captured at the Battle of Stalingrad, Markus never returned to Germany, but tried instead to work out his destiny in the country and among the people he feels he has desecrated. His two boyhood friends who fought with him and survive the battle follow different paths, but Markus turns his back on everything, including his wife and son, who ultimately goes in search of his vanished father. Clear-eyed about the savagery of war, harrowing in its evocation of emotion, the novel has much to tell us in the wake of the Rwandan and Kosovan tragedies.

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About the Author:

Gunnar Kopperud was born in 1946 and studied theatre in Strasbourg and at RADA in London. He also has a Masters degree in Philosophy from the University of Oslo. He has worked as journalist for ASSOCIATED PRESS and the leading Norwegian daily paper, DAGBLADET. He has spent the last few years mainly in Africa, winning acclaim and respect as a fearless and insightful reporter. He lives in Norway. Tiina Nunnally is the prize-winning translator of SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW.

From Publishers Weekly:

War and its consequences are the subjects of Norway-based journalist Kopperud's dreamlike first novel, set during a 10-day skirmish between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1994. As that conflict unfolds, it triggers the haunted memories of WWII vet Markus Wagner, a German expatriate who participated in the Nazi army's disastrous winter 1942-1943 battle and occupation of Stalingrad. Burdened by the weight of his past, Markus recounts his story to an old Armenian priest, in wide-ranging conversations that touch on everything from Bertrand Russell to the inevitability of war atrocities. Chief among these in Markus's recollection are the torching of a Russian church filled with civilians, and the rape and murder of a village girl. In both cases, Markus is tormented by his own conflicted role. Kopperud spaces the war scenes far apart, with lots of philosophy and history in between. When the memories do come, they are filled with microscopic detail and stark imagery, and they possess a veneer of shimmering beauty, thanks to Kopperud's lyrical descriptions of the most base savagery. "Some stories must either never be told or be told only the way dreams are told," says one character, an Armenian survivor of Turkish brutality, and Kopperud obliges with fanciful, hallucinatory scenes such as one in which a musically gifted German sniper plays a duet in gunfire with his Russian counterpart. While Markus is the book's central figure, the third-person narrative encompasses other viewpoints as wellAmost successfully that of Rachel, the Jewish lover Markus left behind in Norway. Other characters include Manfred and Dieter, fellow soldiers in Markus's unit. Gracefully manipulating fragmented voices and a patchwork narrative, Kopperud crafts a moving modernist meditation on German war guilt and the fundamental nature of good and evil, light and dark. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9781582340883: The Time of Light

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ISBN 10:  1582340889 ISBN 13:  9781582340883
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA, 2000
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9780747547884: Time of Light

Blooms..., 2000
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