You don't want to miss Address Unknown first published in 1938 under the androgynous name Kressman Taylor, because the publishers believed a male author would be better received, the author was actually Katherine Kressman Taylor.
From Description: "A series of fictional letters between a Jewish art dealer living in San Francisco and his former business partner, who has returned to Germany, Address Unknown is a haunting tale of enormous and enduring impact."
The letters begin in 1933, when Martin returns to Germany. The two friends, Max, a Jew, and Martin, a gentile, begin the correspondence with the casual of effect of old friends. The letters change fairly quickly in the correspondence as the situation in Germany changes.
Address Unknown is a short story in the form of nineteen letters, and even with the introduction and afterword that explains the events that inspired the story, it is fewer than 100 pages.
To say that this short book carries an impact is an understatement. It did at the time of publication--and it certainly had an impact on me. "Words have power." Both spoken and written.
Blog review scheduled for March 14.
Historical Fiction. 1938; 2002; 2021.
I have a vague recollection of this book, but don't know if I actually read it or just remember shelving it at the bookstore. I'm glad you enjoyed it so well!ReplyDelete
The time period always catches my interest, and there is something about telling a story through letters that always appeals to me. An impressive work in so few pages.Delete
Words do have power! This story sounds amazing and one that I would really like. (Epistolary books and stories are always favorites of mine.) :)ReplyDelete
Some of my favorite books are epistolary, and Address Unknown is certainly a story I won't forget!Delete
I need to read this one. My friend who is an English teacher in Germany recommended it to me as well!ReplyDelete
It is a remarkably effective piece of short fiction with a dramatic warning about how quickly politics can change the temperament of a country.Delete
Sounds like a fascinating read. I'm always intrigued by stories that comes in letter writing format. :)ReplyDelete
Address Unknown is short, but boy, does it pack a punch!Delete
I definitely want to check this book out. I love epistolary stories and books set in this time period.ReplyDelete
It's good! You'll like it!Delete
This really sounds interesting. Can't believe I've never heard of it before, but I'm putting it on the infamous TBR right away.ReplyDelete
As for the change to "Kressman," I think I would have still assumed that it was written by a woman, but if all the publisher wanted to do was cloud the gender of the author, it was definitely a success. When did that kind of thing finally stop, I wonder...or did it stop? Seems like women writers of thrillers and hard core mysteries still do that kind of thing by choice - using their initials instead of first names, etc.
The way the letters change in tone is interesting, especially toward the last half of the story. Sometimes even first names can be confusing when making a judgment about gender. :)Delete
I bet this book was profoundly moving. It is still so hard to envision the reality of the period leading up to and during WW II in Europe.ReplyDelete
Address Unknown was more than moving, although that is true. The frightening part is the way the hate was so easily accepted and converted to action, especially with what we are seeing currently. But there is also a twist that I wasn't expecting.Delete
Oh my this sounds aamzing -- but also heartbreaking :(ReplyDelete
It is relevant today. It was always puzzling to me how what happened in Germany could have occurred. No longer that naïve.Delete
I read this a few years ago and am forever recommending it to people. Such a wonderful book, and moving.ReplyDelete
I can't help recommending as often as possible! A short, but immensely satisfying book.Delete
Definitely want to read this one! I love historical fiction and if it's epistolary form then that's an added bonus.ReplyDelete
You'd like this one, and it is surprising. Taylor's decision to use letters was also based on an incident she was aware of--the story couldn't have been written without the correspondence.Delete