Aaron's Leap (Paperback)

By Magdalena Platzova, Craig Cravens (Translator)

Bellevue Literary Press, 9781934137703, 221pp.

Publication Date: February 18, 2014

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Description

"Told in clear and beautiful prose, Aaron's Leap is a deeply moving portrait of love, sacrifice, and the transformative power of art in a time of brutal uncertainty." --SIMON VAN BOOY, author of The Illusion of Separateness

Based on the real-life story of Bauhaus artist Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Aaron's Leap is framed by the lens of a twenty first-century Israeli film crew delving into the extraordinary life of a woman who taught art to children in the Nazi transport camp of Terezin and died in Auschwitz. Aided by the granddaughter of one of the artist's pupils, the filmmakers begin to uncover buried secrets from a time when personal and artistic decisions became matters of life-and-death. Spanning a century of Central European history, the novel evokes the founding impulses, theories, and personalities of the European Modernist movement (with characters modeled after Oskar Kokoschka, Alma Mahler and Franz Werfel) and shows what it takes to grapple with a troubled history, "leap" into the unknown, and dare to be oneself.

Magdalena Platzova was raised in Prague and has lived in Washington, DC and New York City, where she taught literature at NYU, and now lives in Lyon, France. She is the author of a children's book, two collections of short stories, and three novels, including Aaron's Leap, a Lidove Noviny Book of the Year Award finalist, hailed by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as a novel that "must be counted among the best written by contemporary Czech writers." It is her first book to be published in English.


About the Author

Magdalena Platzova is the author of six books, including two novels published in English: Aaron's Leap, a Lidove Noviny Book of the Year Award finalist, and The Attempt, a Czech Book Award finalist. Her fiction has also appeared in A Public Space and Words Without Borders. Platzova grew up in the Czech Republic, studied in Washington, DC, and England, received her MA in Philosophy at Charles University in Prague, and has taught at New York University's Gallatin School. She is now a freelance journalist based in Lyon, France.
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