The Vision of Emma Blau (Hardcover)
Simon & Schuster, 9780684829975, 432pp.
Publication Date: February 2, 2000
At the heart of this multigenerational novel by critically acclaimed author Ursula Hegi is an intriguing question: If you knew that you could experience a significant love once in your life, would you want these years at the beginning or at the end?
"The Vision of Emma Blau" is the luminous epic of a bicultural family filled with passion and aspirations, tragedy and redemption. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Stefan Blau flees Burgdorf, a small town in Germany, and comes to America in search of the vision that has grafted itself to his mind so tenaciously that he's dreamed of it every single night. The novel closes nearly a century later with Stefan's grand-daughter, Emma, and the legacy of his dream, a once-grand apartment house filled with the hidden truths of its inhabitants both past and present. Ursula Hegi creates a fascinating picture of immigrants in America: their dreams and disappointments, the challenges of assimilation, the frailty of language and its transcendence, the love that bonds generations and the cultural wedges that drive them irrevocably apart.
With her celebrated prose and clear-eyed characterization, Hegi revisits the realm that earned her such wide readership and critical acclaim with "Stones from the River." The "Los Angeles Times" perfectly captured its rare qualities: "What a novel is supposed to be: epic, daring, magnificent, the product of a defining and mesmerizing vision." Now, with "The Vision of Emma Blau," Hegi has written her most powerful and absorbing book.