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Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap
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Angel of Oblivion

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Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap
Paperback $18.00
Aug 30, 2016 | ISBN 9780914671466

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  • Aug 30, 2016 | ISBN 9780914671466

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2017 PEN America Translation Prize winner

“Searingly lyrical…Haderlap’s is a significant achievement, hopefully a herald of more to come. An arresting evocation of memory, community, and suffering.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Haderlap plunges readers into a morass of European history…” Publishers Weekly
“is inflected with a staccato rhythm—a rush of present-tense observation—that reveals the writer to be a poet at heart… Haderlap’s first-person story is authored with the intense sensorial recollections of a child. The book’s relevance is its articulation of the long-lasting burden of cultural and semantic chasms that—even generations later—are far from resolved.”  Jessica Morgan, Artforum

“Along with everything else she accomplishes with this powerful work — a work of historical witness, a Sebaldian descent into the depths of memory, and a brave and innovative hybrid of fiction and memoir — Haderlap (and her English translator) deserve praise for breaking the silence to bring the stories of Slovenian-speaking Austrians to a much broader audience.” — Brendan Driscoll, in The Millions

“[Angel of Oblivion] captures nuances of fleeting emotion thanks to Haderlap’s long-exercised lyric talent while also furnishing as riveting and lucid an account of the Austrian Slovenes in their suffering during and after World War II as will be found in any history book.” — Vincent Kling, Translation Review

“A sparkling and hugely sympathetic English translation…. Maja Haderlap is a dramaturge and a poet and her prose is full of rich poetic images and constructions. It is a profoundly beautiful and deeply upsetting novel worthy of all the prizes.” — European Literature Network

Angel of Oblivion is a beautifully poetic novel about a young girl navigating the treacherous terrain between two hostile communities and two extremely burdened languages: Slovenian as a language of heroic resistance and continued humiliations suffered, and German, a way out of her stifling rural upbringing but also the language of the camps, which her Grandmother barely survived and many family members didn’t.” — Festival Neue Literatur

“[A] painstaking and emotional account of the Slovenian-speaking minority in Austria during and after World War II.” — Abby Sheaffer, ChicagoNow

“Haderlap’s novel seems to transcend the boundaries between languages and histories.” — Iga Nowicz, The Glossa

“Angel of Oblivion
, with its doomed and colourful cast of real-life characters, as well as multiple cruel twists of fate, is a devastating story, never less than wholeheartedly told.” — Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

“Haderlap’s novel brings to mind the work of artist Anselm Kiefer … His paintings evoke the same desolate feeling of a landscape, natural and mental, poisoned by the Holocaust. Though Kiefer’s art is influenced by foreign myths and symbols, there is that same idea that Maja Haderlap confronts in Angel of Oblivion: that even the generation born after the fall of the Third Reich is affected by its legacy.” — Devan Brettkelly, ZYZZYVA
“Haderlap delivers a powerful and affecting story about memory, identity and wartime persecution and retaliation. Inspired by the experiences of Haderlap’s family and other Carinthian Slovenes (the Slovenian-speaking minority in southern Austria), Angel of Oblivion offers a compelling character study and shines a necessary light on a small enclave and less-well known chapter of 20th-century European history…Tess Lewis has done a fine job of translating Haderlap’s lucid and lyrical prose.” — The National (UAE)

“Angel of Oblivion is a continuous, plunging attempt to express the disorderly but urgent moment of daring to master the unmasterable. There is nothing so crass here as an ‘arc’ or a redemptive release. The reader is on the hook until the end – at which point the narrative’s underlying premises shimmer.” — Ron Slate, On the Seawall (blog)

“Impressive and moving” Die Zeit

“A heart-wrenching story” – Peter Handke

“Haderlap writes in a clear yet poetic tone, in which time is a ‘serene glacier’ that crushes everything, all that the young protagonist at first finds wonderful and unchangeable, in its path.”Der Spiegel

“The strength of Haderlap’s novel is that it stretches far back in time, in order to make the present recognisable.” – Paul Jandl

“By telling her grandmother’s story, the narrator finds her own, unmistakeable language, which speaks against the general urge to forget.” – Deutschlandradio

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