Description"Told in clear and beautiful prose, Aaron's Leap is a deeply moving portrait of love, sacrifice, and the transformative power of art in a time of brutal uncertainty." --SIMON VAN BOOY, author of The Illusion of Separateness Based on the real-life story of Bauhaus artist Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Aaron's Leap is framed by the lens of a twenty first-century Israeli film crew delving into the extraordinary life of a woman who taught art to children in the Nazi transport camp of Terezín and died in Auschwitz. Aided by the granddaughter of one of the artist's pupils, the filmmakers begin to uncover buried secrets from a time when personal and artistic decisions became matters of life-and-death. Spanning a century of Central European history, the novel evokes the founding impulses, theories, and personalities of the European Modernist movement (with characters modeled after Oskar Kokoschka, Alma Mahler and Franz Werfel) and shows what it takes to grapple with a troubled history, "leap" into the unknown, and dare to be oneself. Magdaléna Platzová was raised in Prague and has lived in Washington, DC and New York City, where she taught literature at NYU, and now lives in Lyon, France. She is the author of a children's book, two collections of short stories, and three novels, including Aaron's Leap, a Lidové Noviny Book of the Year Award finalist, hailed by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as a novel that "must be counted among the best written by contemporary Czech writers." It is her first book to be published in English.
Bellevue Literary Press - Bellevue Literary P
February 18, 2014
4.9 X 0.6 X 7.4 inches | 0.45 pounds
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About the Author
Magdaléna Platzová is the author of six books, including two novels published in English: Aaron's Leap, a Lidové Noviny Book of the Year Award finalist, and The Attempt, a Czech Book Award finalist. Her fiction has also appeared in A Public Space and Words Without Borders. Platzová grew up in the Czech Republic, studied in Washington, DC, and England, received her MA in Philosophy at Charles University in Prague, and has taught at New York University's Gallatin School. She is now a freelance journalist based in Lyon, France.
Lidové Noviny Book of the Year Award Finalist "Beautifully written, with masterful creation of atmosphere and sculpting of the main characters. The translation by Craig Cravens is excellent and true to Platzová's artful prose." --World Literature Today "The characters in this book are multi-dimensional and come to life through their struggles to understand the purpose of art and the political opinions of the people around them in a time of war and uncertainty. Art and modern thought are at the center of these characters' lives and they find ways to seek truth through art, love, and friendship, inviting the reader to join them on this journey of self-discovery." --Jewish Book Council "Just as a well-curated collection of art has the ability to capture the zeitgeist of a given era with great economy, [Aaron's Leap] manages to position the reader in a present that is informed by the distinct motifs of the past." --Necessary Fiction "A powerful, sobering meditation on both the human condition and the nurturing of the artistic soul that closes the distance between far-flung eras. . . . Platzová expertly illustrates the connectivity of the past, present and future." --CCLaP: Chicago Center for Literature and Photography "A powerful book that shows the continuous ebb and flow of human life and of self-discovery." --Akashic Insider "A moving, humane tale of life lived in history's long shadow." --Booklist (starred review) "Platzová's prose is as sharp and effective as the angles of an expressionist monument. . . . [A] powerfully elegiac novel." --Publishers Weekly "A Czech novel about art, death and sex set against the backdrop of the Holocaust and never-ending war . . . The reader comes to connect with and care for [Platzová's] characters as more than mouthpieces for history." --Kirkus Reviews "Aaron's Leap takes you on an epic journey, which is also a very intimate and personal story--entertaining, touching and brutally honest. Her characters are full of compassion and tenderness, but are never sentimental. It's a great book." --AGNIESZKA HOLLAND, Academy Award-nominated writer and director of Europa Europa and guest director of HBO's The Wire and Netflix's House of Cards "Beautifully written, absorbing, and impeccably researched." --ZUZANA JUSTMAN, Emmy Award-winning writer and director of Voices of the Children "This young author's book immediately caught my interest for its narrative mastery and remarkably skillful identification with the complex atmosphere of the interbellum era . . . [A] brilliant novel." --IVAN KLÍMA, Franz Kafka Prize-winning author of Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light and My Crazy Century "Told in clear and beautiful prose, Aaron's Leap is a deeply moving portrait of love, sacrifice, and the transformative power of art in a time of brutal uncertainty." --SIMON VAN BOOY, author of The Illusion of Separateness