First published in 1938 in Story magazine as a wake-up call warning Americans of the true nature of the Nazi menace, this punchy epistolary tale enacts a stunning drama of friendship, betrayal and vengeance.
In 1932, San Francisco art-gallery owner Max Eisenstein, a Jew who grew up in pre-Nazi Germany, bids farewell to his longtime friend and business partner Martin Schulse, who returns with his family to Munich, where he becomes a Nazi. Through their letters to one another, which quickly move from warmth to a chilling disregard, we watch as the once-liberal Martin, seduced by grandiose visions of German destiny and by the rantings of "our Glorious Leader," vents an anti-Semitism that he tortuously rationalizes. Max, alarmed by reports of anti-Jewish persecution in Germany, asks Martin to look after his actress sister, Griselle, who is performing in Berlin. When she is murdered by Nazi storm troopers after being refused refuge at the Schulse house, Max takes revenge through a clever epistolary ploy that provides a satisfying surprise ending.
Nearly 60 years after its initial publication, Kressman's story serves not only as a reminder of Nazi horrors but as a cautionary tale in light of current racial, ethnic and nationalist intolerance.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages-not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. When one of the strangers-beautiful, haunted Akiva-fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?