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Cover for Carry Me

Carry Me

A Novel

Peter Behrens


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Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (2/22/2016)
Hardcover (2/23/2016)


During Billy Lange’s childhood on the Isle of Wight, he is entranced by Karin, the wild and elusive daughter of a German-Jewish baron who employs Billy’s parents. Years later, after the upheavals of World War I, the two children are reunited on the baron’s Frankfurt estate. Billy and Karin first bond over the popular Wild West stories of Karl May, and later over their passion for jazz and Berlin nightclubs. But they also come to share a fantasy of escape from the 1930s Germany that is rapidly darkening around them—escape to the high plains of Texas and New Mexico they’d read about as children. Against the backdrop of Hitler’s rise to power, their friendship deepens into a love affair with extraordinarily high stakes. Brilliantly conceived and elegantly written, Peter Behrens’s Carry Me is both an epic love story and a lucid meditation on Europe’s violent twentieth century.

Praise For Carry Me: A Novel

“A moving meditation on identity and belonging, and a love story to get happily lost in.” —Montreal Gazette

“Behrens is a beautiful, lyric writer. His understanding of the age and command of it, moment to moment, is impressive. . . . Everything is beautiful in the details, in the smallness of personal moments.” —NPR
“Behrens captures his narrator’s naïveté and the casual anti-Semitism of the times with great skill and intelligence.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Behrens is so fine at both sweeping and granular evocations of history, so good at vividly and economically painting his minor players. . . . [His] prose thrills to the indelible and irrevocable.” —Washington Post

“Vividly imagined. . . . This ambitious novel provides a panoramic view of a continent and a microscopic view of two individuals hovering precariously between the two World Wars. . . . A stunningly intimate portrait.” —Booklist
“Staggeringly epic.” —Toronto Star

“Make[s] the past feel stunningly close at hand.” —
“Peter Behrens is a powerful stylist. . . . If exile is Behrens’s obsession, he’s still making it work in his fiction.” —The Globe and Mail

“[Carry Me] is both poetry and cartography. . . . Behrens has mined truths so skillfully that in reading they can slip by unnoticed; they’re never glaring or contrived. . . . Carry Me is full of . . . characters looking for a way to map their lives against war and love and change.”  —Portland Press Herald
“Carry Me’s perspective on war’s tragedies is beautifully composed, and heartbreakingly credible.” —Shelf Awareness
“Stunning imagery and fully realized characters. . . . Timely in its depiction of North America as the mythical land of hope for so many, and timeless in its exploration of the effects of bigotry and the power of love. . . . A brilliant and entertaining read.” —Winnipeg Free Press
“The story’s essence is the relationship between kindred spirits Karin and Billy, but its fascination lies in the backdrop of Europe’s upheaval. . . . The book tracks the way allegiances shift during wartime and the devastating impact of being ‘othered,’ and not just its impact on Jews. . . . The tension and the expertly drawn portrait of Europe at war make this novel a winner.” —Now Magazine 

Anchor, 9781101910894, 464pp.

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

About the Author

PETER BEHRENS’s first novel, The Law of Dreams, won the Governor General’s Literary Award, Canada’s most prestigious book prize, and has been published in nine languages. The New York Times Book Review called his second novel, The O’Briens, “a major accomplishment.” He is the author of two collections of short stories, Night Driving and Travelling Light. His stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, and many anthologies. Awards he has received include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford University. A native of Montreal, he is currently a fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.