The Crooked Maid

By Dan Vyleta
(Bloomsbury USA, Hardcover, 9781608198092, 448pp.)

Publication Date: August 6, 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, MP3 CD, Compact Disc, Paperback

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.



Vienna, 1948. The war is over, and as the initial phase of de-Nazification winds down, the citizens of Vienna struggle to rebuild their lives amidst the rubble.

Anna Beer returns to the city she fled nine years earlier after discovering her husband's infidelity. She has come back to find him and, perhaps, to forgive him. Traveling on the same train from Switzerland is 18-year-old Robert Seidel, a schoolboy summoned home to his stepfather's sickbed and the secrets of his family's past.

As Anna and Robert navigate an unrecognizable city, they cross paths with a war-widowed American journalist, a hunchbacked young servant girl, and a former POW whose primary purpose is to survive by any means and to forget. Meanwhile, in the shells of burned-out houses and beneath the bombed-out ruins, a ghost of a man, his head wrapped in a red scarf, battles demons from his past and hides from a future deeply uncertain for all.

In The Crooked Maid, Dan Vyleta returns to the shadows of war-darkened Vienna, proving himself once again "a magical storyteller, master of the macabre" (David Park).

About the Author

Dan Vyleta is the son of Czech refugees who emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge. His previous novels are Pavel & I and The Quiet Twin. Vyleta is a Canadian citizen and lives in Wisconsin.

Praise For The Crooked Maid

Shortlisted for the Giller Prize "Gracefully executed... Dramatic." -The New York Times Book Review "A true storyteller who is also a prose stylist." - The National Post "Conveys the sparse, foreboding mood of Poe or Dostoevsky... Vyleta masterfully weaves his characters together in the light and shadow of war-torn Vienna." - Shelf Awareness, starred review "A psychological novel . . . [It] conjures up the stifling atmosphere of shame and deception of the postwar period."Booklist 

Indie Bookstore Finder

Indie Bestsellers

We Were Liars
E. Lockhart
Delacorte Press
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Bees
Laline Paull
Ecco Press
All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr
Scribner Book Company

Make Your Own Wishlist

Update Profile