Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
A Novel

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Synopsis

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Winner of the Lannan Literary Fiction Award
Winner of the Guardian Fiction Award
 
In 1940 a boy bursts from the mud of a war-torn Polish city, where he has buried himself to hide from the soldiers who murdered his family. His name is Jakob Beer. He is only seven years old. And although by all rights he should have shared the fate of the other Jews in his village, he has not only survived but been rescued by a Greek geologist, who does not recognize the boy as human until he begins to cry. With this electrifying image, Anne Michaels ushers us into her rapturously acclaimed novel of loss, memory, history, and redemption.
 
As Michaels follows Jakob across two continents, she lets us witness his transformation from a half-wild casualty of the Holocaust to an artist who extracts meaning from its abyss. Filled with mysterious symmetries and rendered in heart-stopping prose, Fugitive Pieces is a triumphant work, a book that should not so much be read as it should be surrendered to.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Anne Michaels

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Anne Michaels teaches creative writing in Toronto. Her two collections of poetry are The Weight of Oranges (1986), which won the Commonwealth Prize for the Americas, and Miner's Pond (1991), which received the Canadian Authors Award and was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award and the Trillium Award. Fugitive Pieces is her first novel.
 
Published December 24, 2008 by Vintage. 308 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Fugitive Pieces

Kirkus Reviews

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Jakob's life thereafter is devoted to his own writing (he is a gifted poet), to a search for love he never seems quite able to fulfill, and, centrally, to his progression from experiencing ``the power of language to destroy to omit to obliterate'' to discovering in ``poetry, the power of language...

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The Guardian

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Fugitive Pieces Production year: 2007 Country: Rest of the world Cert (UK): 15 Runtime: 109 mins Directors: Jeremy Podeswa Cast: Ed Stoppard, Nina Dobrev, Rade Serbedzija, Robbie Kay, Rosamund Pike, ...

May 31 2009 | Read Full Review of Fugitive Pieces: A Novel

The Guardian

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Fugitive Pieces Production year: 2007 Country: Rest of the world Cert (UK): 15 Runtime: 109 mins Directors: Jeremy Podeswa Cast: Ed Stoppard, Nina Dobrev, Rade Serbedzija, Robbie Kay, Rosamund Pike, ...

May 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Fugitive Pieces: A Novel

The Guardian

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For the first time, the Guardian book club's monthly discussion with our featured author took place away from home.

Jun 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Fugitive Pieces: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The second part of the novel concerns a younger man, Ben, who is profoundly influenced by Jakob's poetry and goes to the Greek island of Idhra in an attempt to find the writer's notebooks after his death.

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Publishers Weekly

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These poems don't always carry the freight of their subjects' fame lightly, though, and by the book's second half the metaphors begin to misfire as bad homages, as in the Akhmatovesque ""Birds plunge their cries like needles/ into the thick arm of afternoon."" The worst merely recap generic momen...

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The Telegraph

Anne Michaels’s highly-regarded 1997 novel about the love life and artistic struggles of a World War II orphan is a thicket of richly poetic language, which writer-director Jeremy Podeswa has set himself a daunting, English Patient-level task putting on screen.

May 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Fugitive Pieces: A Novel

The Sydney Morning Herald

After escaping from Poland, Athos decides to head for the Greek island where he grew up and for a while it becomes a haven where Jakob emerges tentatively into the sun only to be forced into hiding once more by the arrival of the Germans.

Nov 27 2008 | Read Full Review of Fugitive Pieces: A Novel

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