The Dark Room
The Dark Room
Vintage, Paperback, 9780375726323, 288pp.
Publication Date: October 8, 2002
Rachel Seiffert’s absorbing, internationally acclaimed debut explores the modern German psyche through the experiences of three ordinary people.
At the onset of World War II, a young photographer’s assistant is kept out of the war due to a physical disability, and instead spends his time capturing on film the changing temper of Berlin, the city he loves. Just weeks after Germany’s surrender, a teenage girl whose parents have been taken into allied custody leads her siblings on a harrowing journey to find their grandmother. And two generations after the war, a teacher searches for the reason why the Russians imprisoned his beloved grandfather. Evoking the experiences of the individual with astonishing emotional depth and psychological acuity, The Dark Room develops a portrait of the twentieth century in all its drama and complexity.
“A novel about the German soul in the twentieth century, this debut work stuns with its simplicity of style and hugeness of subject.” –The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Ambitious and powerful. . . . Seiffert writes lean, clean prose. Deftly, she hangs large ideas on the vivid private experiences of her principal characters [to] form an allegory of the German soul in its passage over eighty years.” —The New York Times Book Review
“[A] probing novel. . . . Seiffert gives us pictures as evocative as they are ghostly....” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Lyrical . . . explores the experience of ‘ordinary’ Germans–the descendents of Nazis and Nazi sympathizers–and poses questions about the country’s psychological and political inheritance with rare insight and humanity.” --The New Yorker