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The Glass Room: A Novel

The Glass Room: A Novel

By Simon Mawer

Named a best book of the year by Slate, The Economist, The London Evening Standard, The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Observer.

Named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

“[The Glass Room is] a thing of extraordinary beauty and symmetry… a novel of ideas, yet strongly propelled by plot and characterised by an almost dreamlike simplicity of telling. Comparisons with the work of Michael Frayn would not be misplaced, and there are occasional moments of illuminating brilliance…”—The Guardian

“The writing, as sensual and sophisticated as its subjects, keeps us firmly within the house’s elegant parameters, caught up in the touch and taste and roiling emotions of the characters living through these events. Seeing clearly, Mawer shows us, is never an option, no matter how large and expensive your windows. Every era thinks it has achieved transparency, complete with modern fixtures and sundry decorations. But we can’t ever actually see out, because our damned humanity keeps misting up the glass.”—Time Out London

Honeymooners Viktor and Liesel Landauer are filled with the vibrant optimism of central Europe of the 1920s when they meet modernist architect Rainer von Abt. He builds them a home to embody their exuberant faith in the future, and the Landauer House becomes an instant masterpiece. Viktor and Liesel, a rich Jewish mogul and a thoughtful, modern gentile, pour all of their hopes for their marriage and budding family into their stunning new home, filling it with a generation of artists and thinkers eager to renounce old-world European style in favor of the avant-garde. But their new home also brings out their most ardent desires and darkest secrets, and soon the radiant honesty and idealism of 1930 quickly evaporate beneath the storm clouds of World War II. As Nazi troops enter the country, the family must abandon their old life and attempt to escape to America before Viktor’s Jewish roots draw Nazi attention, and before the family itself dissolves.

Brimming with barely contained passion and cruelty, the precision of science, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession, and the fear of failure – The Glass Room contains it all.

Paperback
405 pages
5.5 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
Other Press, 2009
ISBN 9781590513965
Historical Fiction

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