The Ash Garden by Dennis Bock
A Novel

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Emiko Amai is six years old in August 1945 when the Hiroshima bomb burns away half of her face. To Anton, a young German physicist involved in the Manhattan Project, that same bomb represents the pinnacle of scientific elegance. And for his Austrian wife Sophie, a Jewish refugee, it marks the start of an irreparable fissure in their new marriage.

Fifty years later, seemingly far removed from the day that defined their lives, Emiko visits Anton and Sophie, and in Dennis Bock’s powerfully imagined narrative, their histories converge.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Dennis Bock

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Dennis Bock lives with his wife and their two sons in Ontario. His novel The Ash Garden was published in nine countries and received the Canada-Japan Literary Award in 2002.  
Published January 8, 2002 by Vintage. 304 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ash Garden

The New York Times

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Dennis Bock's first novel brings disparate people together in the aftermath of Hiroshima.

Sep 23 2001 | Read Full Review of The Ash Garden: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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He invites Emiko to the quiet house he shares with Sophie in Ontario, and as Sophie declines toward death, Anton tells Emiko all the ways he has influenced her life since Hiroshima.

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Star Tribune

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Anton Böll, a German refugee scientist who helped create the bomb and traveled to Hiroshima in the blast's immediate aftermath, and Anton's wife, Sophie, a refugee from Nazi terror, who meets and marries Anton during the war.

Sep 22 2001 | Read Full Review of The Ash Garden: A Novel

AV Club

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Bock does noticeably favor Amai: Her first-person narrative and extensive suffering are more powerful draws than the third-person descriptions of Böll, which depict him as sincere but cold, estranged from his dying wife, and long used to defensively screening out emotional accusations.

Apr 19 2002 | Read Full Review of The Ash Garden: A Novel

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