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Eva Menasse

8 Reviews

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

Sparkling and panoramic novel of three generations of family life in Vienna and England.

From the very beginning - the birth of the narrator's father in the middle of a bridge party - the reader is plunged headlong into the world of Vienna, a novel crowded with voices, characters, tragedy and joy. The disintegration of history and indentity in the twentieth century is seen through the adventures of one family - half-Jewish Viennese, split apart by the Nazi invasion and sent out into the world.

Dispensing with linear narrative, the story loops forwards and back to follow each member on their winding course. Their experiences encompass fraudsters, footballers, fools and fur coats as the narrative moves from Austria to London, from Canada to the battlefields of Burma.

It introduces in Eva Menasse an intimate chronicle of human experience and an unashamedly gleeful storyteller. Her cast of entrancing characters and unexpected events shows us imperceptibly the formation and disintegration of family history and identity.

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Praise for Vienna

  • a remarkable achievement... the rewards are many and various. - THE INDEPENDENT - BARRY FORSHAW

  • For this story of a half-Jewish, half-German clan Eve Menasse eschews linear narrative in favour of tales about the different members that weave into one another in a manner characteristic of shared family remembrance. And what characters they are.... the mixture is enjoyably leavened with black humour. - THE GUARDIAN - RACHAEL HORE

  • set in a vividly imagined bourgeois Vienna, with it's bridge parties, tennis clubs, and an everyday anti-Semitism that's shocking in its casualness. - TIME OUT

  • a droll but unsettling take o

  • Just when you thought there was nothing new to write about the Jewish experience during the Second World War comes a novel that turns convention on its head... Menasse teases out this generational paradox in a clever novel full of gentle humour, unpredictable twists and memorable characters. - DAILY TELEGRAPH

  • Vienna by Eva Menasse is a disputatious saga that tracks the trials and tribulations of a Jewish-Austrian family during the 20th century. - THE OBSERVER

  • Vienna's early sections show the diverse nature of this adventure for these forced migrants... Eva Menasse's tone is often comic, but her theme is serious. - TLS

  • delightfully told... surprising, funny and tragic.. a character-led story fully of sparkling vignettes - YORKSHIRE EVENING POST

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Eva Menasse

Born 1970, Eva Menasse is an arts journalist on the Frankfurter Allgemeine. This is her first novel.