Author(s): Anne Michaels
A young boy, Jakob Beer, is rescued from the muddy ruins of a buried Polish village in Nazi-occupied Poland, during the Second World War. Of his family, he is the only one who has survived. He is smuggled out to an island in Greece by an unlikely saviour, the scientist and humanist Athos Roussos. There, in the seclusion and tenderness of Athos's house, they spend the last years of the Occupation in a precarious refuge made lavish with poetry and cartography, botany and art.
In the novel's second part, Ben, a young professor and an expert in the drama of weather and biography, meets the now sixty-year-old Jacob and his ardent and glorious Michaela at the home of a mutual friend. The quiet elation Ben senses in the older man, and Ben's own connection to the wounding legacies of the war, kindle a fascination with Jakob and his writing, disturbing the safety of his carefully ordered world.
A beautiful new limited edition paperback of Fugitive Pieces, published as part of the Bloomsbury Modern Classics list
'Monumental. Fugitive Pieces is the most important book I have read for forty years * John Berger * All except a handful of contemporary novels are dwarfed by its reach, its compassion, its wisdom A book to read many times * Geoff Dyer * This is a novel to lose yourself in; let the language pour over you, depositing its richness like waves lapping sand onto a beach. Michaels is a novelist of unusual and compelling power * The Times * Essential reading, both for its exceptional literary craft and for its exemplary and inspiring humanity * Spectator *
Anne Michaels is the author of three collections of poetry: The Weight of Oranges, which won the Commonwealth Prize for the Americas; Miner's Pond, which won the Canadian Authors Association Award; and Skin Divers. Her first novel, Fugitive Pieces, was published by Bloomsbury in 1997 to worldwide acclaim. It won the Orange Prize and the Guardian First Book Award among others, and was made into a major film. She is also the author of another novel, The Winter Vault, Correspondences: A Poem and Portraits, a collaboration with the acclaimed artist and writer Bernice Eisenstein, and a book for children, The Adventures of Miss Petitfour and Her Cats. Anne Michaels' work has been translated into over forty languages. She lives in Toronto, and in October 2015 was named the fifth Toronto Poet Laureate.