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The Spectacle Salesman's Family

  • Author
    • Viola Roggenkamp
Regular price £7.99
Regular price Sale price £7.99
Paul Schiefer is a travelling spectacles salesman. Every Monday morning he leaves Hamburg on a week-long sales trip. His wife, his mother-in-law and his two teenage daughters Fania and Vera see him off with abundant hugs and kisses, and they welcome him back with equal exuberance on Friday evening - just in time for Sabbath eve. While her husband is away, Alma Schiefer defends the wellbeing of her family with an explosive mixture of ferocious love and extreme determination. Thirteen-year-old Fania is torn between the comfort of home and the fearful thrills of the unknown outside world, a sixties world that contains student protest, beehive hairdos, Israel and the Six Day War, politics, religion, revolution and . . . the promise of love.

Sensual, funny and acerbic, The Spectacle Salesman's Family is a brilliant, vivid portrait of Jewish life in post-Holocaust Germany that continues the Jewish tradition of memorialising, recounting the details in order to hold onto the past and its lessons.
  • Published: Oct 16 2008
  • Pages: 416
  • 210 x 130mm
  • ISBN: 9781844082216
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Press Reviews

    ** '[A] powerful novel . . . It tells the story of a Jewish family in post-WWII Germany from the point of view of the generation born after the war; every scene is perfectly controlled, every character masterfully drawn - at once sharply delineated yet psychologically complex
    ** It's an intimate, rambling story, rich in detail, character and tradition. The tremors and hidden anxieties of adolescence are keenly drawn.
    ** 'In her warm and touching debut novel, Viola Roggenkamp draws us into a family both suffocating and adorable... Roggenkamp's characters are well drawn; the family dynamic amusingly conveyed.
  • FT
    ** 'Roggenkamp's is a lovely narrative, strong in Jewish customs and the political background of the time