Gretel and the Great War

A Novel

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Pub Date Jun 11 2024 | Archive Date Jul 11 2024

Description

One of Lit Hub's most anticipated books of 2024

"Adam Ehrlich Sachs makes books that make their own traditions. This is the highest praise I know, for serious." —Joshua Cohen, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Netanyahus


"Gretel and the Great War is the gift that keeps on giving. Adam Ehrlich Sachs continues to prove he is one of our most daring and original writers." —Camille Bordas, author of How to Behave in a Crowd


A lean, seductive, and dazzlingly inventive novel that shows us the dark side of early twentieth-century Vienna.


Vienna, 1919. A once-mighty empire has finally come crashing down—and a mysterious young woman, unable to speak, has turned up on the streets. A doctor appeals to the public for information about her past and receives a single response, from a sanatorium patient who claims to be her father. The man reveals only her name: Gretel. But he encloses a bedtime story he asks the doctor to read aloud to her, about an Architect whose radically modern creation has caused a great scandal. The next day a second story arrives, about a Ballet Master who develops a new position of the feet. Twenty-four more stories follow in alphabetical order, about an Immunologist and a Jeweler, a Revolutionary and a Satirist, a Waif and an X-ray Technician and a Zionist. Crossing paths and purposes, their stories interweave until a single picture emerges, that of a decadent, death-obsessed, oversexed empire buzzing with the ideas of Freud and Karl Kraus. There are artists who ape the innocence of children, and scientists who insist that children are anything but innocent . . . And then there’s Gretel’s own mother, who will do whatever it takes to sing onstage at the City Theater. Is it any wonder that this world—soon to vanish anyway in a war to end all wars—was one from which Gretel’s father wished to shelter her?

One of Lit Hub's most anticipated books of 2024

"Adam Ehrlich Sachs makes books that make their own traditions. This is the highest praise I know, for serious." —Joshua Cohen, Pulitzer Prize–winning...


A Note From the Publisher

Adam Ehrlich Sachs is the author of the collection Inherited Disorders: Stories, Parables, and Problems, which was a semifinalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor and a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and n+1, among other publications, and he was named a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. He has a degree in the history of science from Harvard, where he was a member of The Harvard Lampoon, and currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Adam Ehrlich Sachs is the author of the collection Inherited Disorders: Stories, Parables, and Problems, which was a semifinalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor and a finalist for the Sami...


Advance Praise

★ "Intricate, unexpected, and delightful . . . An ingeniously woven novel . . . Playful, charming, and brilliant—a profundity made of toylike whimsies." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Sachs lends a touch of the fantastical to Viennese life at the end of WWI in this inventive novel . . . [He] keenly captures the pulse of a city on the cusp of immense change. This spirited volume lingers long after the final page." Publishers Weekly

"Adam Ehrlich Sachs makes books that make their own traditions. This is the highest praise I know, for serious." —Joshua Cohen, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Netanyahus

"Relentless, in the best way possible. Think Mary Poppins’s satchel, think one deranged matrioshka constantly coming out from under another—Gretel and the Great War is the gift that keeps on giving. Adam Ehrlich Sachs continues to prove he is one of our most daring and original writers." —Camille Bordas, author of How to Behave in a Crowd

"Countless writers take pleasure in the style of their own sentences. Few of them provide such pleasure to their readers. Sachs provides it again and again. He doesn't let up. Plus he’s funny as hell. No writer alive is more startlingly alive." —Adam Levin, author of Mount Chicago

"His lunatics clamor to be believed, but Sachs wants something else: pin-thin-fancies that braid a rope to make your legs dance." —Jesse Ball, author of The Divers' Game

★ "Intricate, unexpected, and delightful . . . An ingeniously woven novel . . . Playful, charming, and brilliant—a profundity made of toylike whimsies." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Sachs lends a...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780374614249
PRICE $18.00 (USD)
PAGES 224

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