Affinity Konar Mischling: A novel

ISBN 13: 9780345816412

Mischling: A novel

 
9780345816412: Mischling: A novel

"One of the most harrowing, powerful, and imaginative books of the year" (Anthony Doerr) about twin sisters fighting to survive the evils of World War II.

Pearl is in charge of: the sad, the good, the past. Stasha must care for: the funny, the future, the bad.
     It's 1944 when the twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood.
     As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele's Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain.
     That winter, at a concert orchestrated by Mengele, Pearl disappears. Stasha grieves for her twin, but clings to the possibility that Pearl remains alive. When the camp is liberated by the Red Army, she and her companion Feliks--a boy bent on vengeance for his own lost twin--travel through Poland's devastation. Undeterred by injury, starvation, or the chaos around them, motivated by equal parts danger and hope, they encounter hostile villagers, Jewish resistance fighters, and fellow refugees, their quest enabled by the notion that Mengele may be captured and brought to justice within the ruins of the Warsaw Zoo. As the young survivors discover what has become of the world, they must try to imagine a future within it.
     A superbly crafted story, told in a voice as exquisite as it is boundlessly original, Mischling defies every expectation, traversing one of the darkest moments in human history to show us the way toward ethereal beauty, moral reckoning, and soaring hope.

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Review:

An Amazon Best Book of September 2016: It’s not easy picking up a book involving Auschwitz’s infamous “Angel of Death.” But once you pick up Affinity Konar’s Mischling, you will have a very difficult time putting it down. Inspired by the real-life experiences of twins Eva and Miriam Mozes, Konar’s beautifully written and powerful novel imagines what it was like being forced to take part in Josef Mengele’s horrific human experiments. This man, this monster, is not the star of the story though. 12-year-old siblings Pearl and Stasha are, and it is they who convey Mischling’s overarching message, something that is perhaps even more incomprehensible than man’s inhumanity to man: the capacity to forgive it. If Konar is concerned about whether or not these pages honor the memory of the brave souls who agitated against the cruel hand the world dealt them, she should rest easy. And hopefully those souls are too. --Erin Kodicek, The Amazon Book Review

About the Author:

AFFINITY KONAR is the author of The Illustrated Version of Things. She received her MFA from Columbia University and lives in Los Angeles. The author lives in Los Angeles, CA.

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