Keep Saying Their NamesBook - 2020
"Inspired by historical events and by personal history, a shattering, exquisite double portrait of a Norwegian family savaged by World War II and of a man devoted to crimes against humanity, conjoined by an actual house of horrors they both called home. Once the Germans conquer Norway in 1940, they quickly discover a tremendous native asset: Henry Oliver Rinnan, a double agent so cruel and manipulative that he would become notorious as one of Norway's vilest traitors, second only to Quisling himself. In 1941, Rinnan and his gang set up headquarters in an unspectacular suburban house and transformed the cellar into a makeshift torture and death chamber reserved for Norwegian resisters. In the war's aftermath, this house became home to a Jewish-Norwegian couple still reeling from trauma. Here their two young daughters spend a happy childhood in the very same rooms where, only a few years before, some of the most heinous acts of the occupation had been committed. Many decades later, Simon Stranger married the daughter of one of those girls, and, learning the history of her family, soon realized that their story could not be told without including Rinnan's, provoking a plague of questions: What turned a bashful shoemaker's son into this despised criminal? How could a Jewish family have chosen to move into that house? And how could Stranger himself explain to his twenty-first century son this virtually inconceivable history, and what it means to be Jewish? He wrestles with these essential questions in this stunning novel, seamlessly melding fact and fiction, guiding us through five generations' worth of history, at once intimate and global, seeking to reveal how evil is born in some and courage in others. A tremendous contribution to the literature of the Second World War--focused tightly and specifically on a previously unseen corner of it--Keep Saying Their Names reveals core facets of the human psyche. This is an intimate, unforgettable account that compels us to confront the darkness of the past honestly and genuinely in order to build a better future for those we love"--
Publisher: New York, New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2020.
Edition: First American edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
Characteristics: 289 pages ;,25 cm.