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Angel of Oblivion by [Haderlap, Maja]
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Angel of Oblivion Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 250 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

"Impressive and moving" - "Die Zeit"
"A heart-wrenching story" - Peter Handke
"Haderlap writes in a clear yet poetic tone, in which time is a 'serene glacier' that crushes everything, all that the young protagonist at first finds wonderful and unchangeable, in its path." - "Der Spiegel"
"The strength of Haderlap's novel is that it stretches far back in time, in order to make the present recognisable." - Paul Jandl
"By telling her grandmother's story, the narrator finds her own, unmistakeable language, which speaks against the general urge to forget. --" - Deutschlandradio

"Searingly lyrical...Haderlap's is a significant achievement, hopefully a herald of more to come. An arresting evocation of memory, community, and suffering." " Kirkus Reviews"
"Impressive and moving" - "Die Zeit"
"A heart-wrenching story" - Peter Handke
"Haderlap writes in a clear yet poetic tone, in which time is a 'serene glacier' that crushes everything, all that the young protagonist at first finds wonderful and unchangeable, in its path." - "Der Spiegel"
"The strength of Haderlap's novel is that it stretches far back in time, in order to make the present recognisable." - Paul Jandl
"By telling her grandmother's story, the narrator finds her own, unmistakeable language, which speaks against the general urge to forget. --" - Deutschlandradio"

About the Author

MAJA HADERLAP is a Slovenian-German Austrian writer and translator. She studied German language and literature at the University of Vienna and has a PhD in Theatre Studies. Between years 1992 and 2007 she worked as drama supervisor at the Klagenfurt City Theatre and was editor for the Carinthian Slovene minority literary magazine "Mladje." Haderlap writes poetry, prose and essays in both Slovenian and German. Her work has been published in numerous international literary journals and anthologies. She was awarded the Ingebjorg-Bachmann-Preis and the Rauriser Literaturpreis for her debut novel "Engel des Vergessens" ("Angel of Oblivion").
TESS LEWIS is a translator of German and French. She has been awarded translation grants from PEN America & UK, an NEA Translation Fellowship, and a Max Geilinger Translation Grant for her translation of Philippe Jaccottet. She is an Advisory Editor of "The Hudson Review" and writes essays on European literature for numerous literary journals.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2565 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Archipelago (30 Aug. 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B018CH0MTQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,037,382 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
Although Angel Of Oblivion is fiction, it reads so much like memoir that it was difficult for me to separate Haderlap herself from our young narrator. I don't know how close this story is to her actual childhood. The book is not an easy read and I often struggled to follow what passes for its storyline. Both the grandmother and the father are psychologically scarred from their wartime experiences and so we frequently jump around in time as memories of the past are triggered. I was reminded of a French book, Brodeck's Report by Philippe Claudel, which also examines the mental damage of the Second World War on survivors of a community where horrific violence took place.

I particularly appreciated Haderlap's poetic writing as she describes the physical appearance of people, farms and the natural world with the isolated valley of our narrator's youth. The destruction and decay of these homes and communities is heartbreaking to read about and, while I don't think Angel Of Oblivion will be a strongly memorable book in itself, I have found myself repeatedly returning to think about one of its strong themes since I have finished reading. The Slovenian community in Austria, fighting and dying as partisans during the war, were on the 'winning side' yet in later years as an ethnic minority in Austria, a country which generally embraced Nazism, they find their experiences and culture suppressed by the majority population who would prefer not to be reminded of this time in their past.
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Format: Paperback
This presents as a novel but reads much more like a memoir and as far as I can make out is very firmly based on the author’s own life and family, including her later career trajectory. So I’m not quite sure what has been gained by writing it as a novel, although perhaps because the author is a poet she found it easier to write lyrically and poetically in a work of so-called fiction. The book describes the experiences of the Slovenian-speaking minority in Carinthia, southern Austria, during and after the Second World War. Many of them fought the Nazis as partisans; many were deported to the camps. The trauma of the individuals within the community and the community itself are vividly portrayed and the experience of the narrator’s grandmother in Ravensbruck is particularly devastating to read about. As the narrator learns about her family’s past and begins to understand the damage done she has to come to terms with it all and the ways it has affected her family. In many ways it’s a moving and often chilling account, but I found the poetic style a bit too much at times, and I never fully engaged with the narrator. Certainly I was interested to learn of this little-known episode in WWII history, but it was not a book I particularly enjoyed.
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