The right hand of sleep

by Wray, John, 1971-

Format: Print Book 2001
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library First Floor - Fiction Stacks FICTION Wray, Jo
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  First Floor - Fiction Stacks
 
Call Number  FICTION Wray, Jo
 
 
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fiction WRAY John
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
 
Collection  Fiction
 
Call Number  WRAY John
 
 
Summary
Oskar Voxlauer is in flight from his past--from his bourgeois Austrian upbringing; from horrific memories of fighting on the Italian front in 1917 as a teenage recruit; and from the twenty years he has spent in the Ukraine watching his socialist ideals crumble and the life of the woman he loved slowly waste away. Alone, he finally decides to return to the Austrian village of his birth, where his mother is waiting to greet a son she hasn't seen since he was a boy. But the year is 1938, and despite Oskar's attempt to live a reclusive existence as a gamekeeper in the hills, he cannot escape the tensions that are threatening the once tranquil village of Niessen. Hitler marches into Austria and the Black Shirts come to the valley. Voxlauer watches as his Jewish friend and benefactor is driven to ruin. The only things saving him--a "Red," a deserter and a "Yid lover"--from the attentions of the SS seem to be the respect the community has for his parents and his growing love for the mysterious Else Bauer, cousin of the new SS F├╝hrer. In his extraordinary first novel, John Wray has given both a poetic evocation of the Austrian landscape and an acute portrait of the dark side of its past. His subtle and human understanding of the ambiguities of history, the complexities of his characters and the stunning richness of his prose mark him as one of America's most gifted new writers.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "The ghost hovering over this assured and astonishingly mature first novel is that of Joseph Roth, the great interwar Austrian novelist. Perhaps this reflects Wray's own double origin, as the son of an Austrian father and an American mother. Oskar Voxlauer, Wray's Austrian protagonist, was a teenage deserter from the Austro-Hungarian army in WWI. As the novel begins, he is returning to his native village, Niessen bei Villach, in 1938, after a 19-year stay in the Ukraine. His Russian lover's death has released him, and he is coming back in the middle of Hitler's Anschluss to see his lonely mother. To escape the tensions in Niessen, Oskar goes to work as a gamekeeper on a stretch of forest his Jewish tavernkeeper friend Ryslavy owns outside town. There he meets the old gamekeeper's daughter, Else Bauer, who lives under a vague cloud, having borne a daughter out of wedlock. The two are briefly happy together, but then Else's cousin, Kurt, returns to Austria from exile in Germany, as the head of the Nazis in Niessen. Kurt is also, Oskar quickly discovers, more to Else than a cousin. Oskar publicly opposes the Nazis; Kurt ambiguously patronizes him. Soon the triangle between Else, Oskar and Kurt becomes fraught with menace. The gloom of the dark days of late '30s Austria is heightened by Oskar's recollections of personal trauma: his wartime experiences; the suicide of his father, a famous opera composer; and the brutal collectivization of the Ukrainian countryside. Wray's first novel displays psychological acuity, a mastery of dialogue and an unfailing historical empathy, and should garner deserved raves. (Apr. 26) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Gamekeepers -- Fiction.
Villages -- Fiction.
Murder -- Fiction.
Jews -- Fiction.
Austria -- History -- 1918-1938 -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Alfred A. Knopf :2001
Distributed by Random House,
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 325 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 0375406514
Other Classic View