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"Bighearted, gorgeous, historical, suspenseful, everything you want a novel to be" (Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Less), a new book inspired by the World War II story you've never heard - the real-life quest of an unlikely hero to save the lives and work of Europe's great minds from the impending Holocaust.
Vichy France, 1940: Varian Fry, under the auspices of the Emergency Rescue Committee, is combing the country for a couple of hundred “artists, writers, and intellectuals,” most of them Jewish or politically suspect, who similarly imagined themselves to be safe in France even as the Holocaust begins to unfold and the Gestapo arrest lists lengthen. Fry has allowed himself a month to get those 200 sure victims to safety, and in doing so, as his old friend—and lover —Elliott Grant, a shadowy figure of many connections, warns him, he is proving “inconvenient to the American diplomatic mission in France.” The cloak-and-dagger element of Orringer’s story is effective, while woven into the action is the slow reconciliation between Fry and Grant, whose friendship is deep but at first tentative, finally heating.
Author: Julie Orringer.
Paperback Published 30th June 2020 576 pages
“A gripping, tender novel.” —The New Yorker
“Magnificent . . . a deeply researched, almost unbearably tense, bruised-knuckle hybrid. Part real history and part love story, it’s also a deeply moral work, asking tough questions about what matters most to us personally—and to the world.” —The Boston Globe
“Sympathetic and prodigiously ambitious. . . . [Orringer’s] Marseille breathes as a city breathes.” —Cynthia Ozick, The New York Times Book Review