The Vanishing Sky


Product Details

$18.00  $16.56
Bloomsbury Publishing
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.2 X 0.9 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

L. Annette Binder was born in Germany and immigrated to the U.S. as a small child. She holds degrees in classics and law from Harvard, an MA in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MFA from the Program in Writing at the University of California, Irvine. Her short fiction collection Rise received the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. She lives in New Hampshire.


"The Vanishing Sky paints a haunting portrait of a nation slowly collapsing. The story is gripping, and the characters are fully realized, flawed individuals." --New York Journal of Books

"The Vanishing Sky is a heartrending and blazingly lucid depiction of Nazi Germany as not a simple monolith of evil but as an oppressive, fanatical political regime that was encountered, accommodated, rejected, and survived by ordinary people, people just like you and me." --Miriam Toews, author of WOMEN TALKING

"A hugely ambitious novel whose consummate, patient artistry is moving beyond measure." --Matthew Thomas, New York Times-bestselling author of WE ARE NOT OURSELVES

"The Vanishing Sky is so fiercely imagined, so wondrously conjured, that what you hold not only pulls you into its history but into a world of pure yearning, determination, struggle, and hope." --Paul Yoon, author of THE MOUNTAIN

"[Binder] uses Etta Huber, a hausfrau in a rural village, as a means of feeling her way back into the past, channeling the anguish and uncertainty of the final months of the fighting." --New York Times Book Review

"A heartbreaking portrait of an ordinary family shattered by a war they didn't want." --The Times

"An intimate tragedy that's all the more powerful for refusing the ending we fervently hope for." --The Daily Mail

"At a moment when American readers uneasily watch our own leaders stoke ethnic and religious tensions - often to tragic ends - in a way that we have not quite seen before in our lifetimes, the Hubers' story feels particularly revelatory. . . Binder is a deft writer with a gift for choosing vocabulary that elevates the observations of normal people into carefully rendered art. . . The Vanishing Sky tells a tragic story, but it also serves as a meditation on tragedy and the everyday cruelty by which tragedy is so often begotten." --The Washington Independent Review of Books

"The Vanishing Sky reveals the German home front as I've never seen it in fiction... Binder tells her story patiently, like an artist placing tiny pieces into a mosaic; this literary novel isn't one to race through. But I find it gripping, powerful, and a brave narrative, unsparing in its honesty." --Historical Novels Review

"A masterful story of war, horror, and love...Binder provides a family's-eye view of the terror and trauma, offering readers a unique perspective on the war." --Kirkus Reviews

"A fresh take on the madness of war." --Publishers Weekly

"This stark accounting of the personal damage inflicted by war draws its power from its homey details, as one family's life is blown apart." --Booklist

"L. Annette Binder's sad, intimate first novel, The Vanishing Sky, conveys a sense of Germany at the tail end of World War II, as seen primarily through the experiences of one family from Heidenfeld, near the city of Würzburg. . . Georg, a pudgy, bookish youngster who's ill-equipped for the book's Odysseus, his mother its Penelope. Binder creates a believable, lost world with Etta and Georg. The ending is inevitable, and we are left with an overriding-and poignant-sense of loss." --Bookpage

"An empathic, portrayal of the human cost of war, delivered as an inside view of a family living under the Nazi regime." --Sydney Morning Herald

"Eloquent, and painfully human." --Irish Examiner