The hanky of Pippin's daughter

Rosmarie Waldrop

Book - 2019

"Letters between two sisters who grew up in Nazi Germany, explore their family history and assess their complicity with Nazism" --

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FICTION/Waldrop Rosmarie
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Subjects
Genres
Historical fiction
Novels
Published
[St. Louis, Missouri] : Dorothy, a Publishing Project 2019.
Edition
First Dorothy edition
Language
English
Item Description
"Dorothy, a Publishing Project, 19."
Physical Description
iv, 229 pages ; 18 cm
ISBN
9781948980012
1948980010
Main Author
Rosmarie Waldrop (author)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Born to warring parents in 1930s Germany, musician Lucy Seifert tries to piece together her family's past in Waldrop's gratifyingly complex novel. Frederika Wolgamot married schoolteacher Josef Seifert in 1926 and began an affair with his friend Franz Huber two months later. The paternity of her twin daughters, Andrea and Doria, born in 1927, is thus in question. And though Franz disappears, there are enough hints of his presence for Frederika and Josef's younger daughter, Lucy, to wonder years later about the affair and its aftermath. Writing to Andrea from Providence, where she now lives with her husband and is conducting her own affair with a fellow musician, Lucy imagines her angry, unrepentant mother and her resentful, mystical-minded father in a Germany where Hitler is gaining power and the small towns of Bayreuth and Kitzingen, where the Seiferts lived, grow dangerous for Marxists, gays, and Jews—including Franz Huber. Pitiless and determined, Lucy quotes from newspapers and letters and sketches out her parents' conversations, dreams, and sexual encounters, despite acknowledging the ultimate opacity of what happened: "the past is an imposter. It obeys our expectations." Waldrop's text makes an art of this painful inquiry. This novel powerfully models the desire, and the moral responsibility, to know one's history. (Oct.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Born to warring parents in 1930s Germany, musician Lucy Seifert tries to piece together her family's past in Waldrop's gratifyingly complex novel. Frederika Wolgamot married schoolteacher Josef Seifert in 1926 and began an affair with his friend Franz Huber two months later. The paternity of her twin daughters, Andrea and Doria, born in 1927, is thus in question. And though Franz disappears, there are enough hints of his presence for Frederika and Josef's younger daughter, Lucy, to wonder years later about the affair and its aftermath. Writing to Andrea from Providence, where she now lives with her husband and is conducting her own affair with a fellow musician, Lucy imagines her angry, unrepentant mother and her resentful, mystical-minded father in a Germany where Hitler is gaining power and the small towns of Bayreuth and Kitzingen, where the Seiferts lived, grow dangerous for Marxists, gays, and Jews—including Franz Huber. Pitiless and determined, Lucy quotes from newspapers and letters and sketches out her parents' conversations, dreams, and sexual encounters, despite acknowledging the ultimate opacity of what happened: "the past is an imposter. It obeys our expectations." Waldrop's text makes an art of this painful inquiry. This novel powerfully models the desire, and the moral responsibility, to know one's history. (Oct.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Poet Rosmarie Waldrop’s classic novel about the horrors and banalities of German life between the World Wars. “Josef and Frederika Seifert made a bad marriage—he so metaphysical, she, furious frustrated singer, furious frustrated femme fatale, unfaithful within two months of the wedding day. The setting is small town Germany between the wars; the Seiferts are just those ‘ordinary people’ who helped Hitler rise, bequeathing their daughter, who tells their story, a legacy of grief and guilt. Rosmarie Waldrop’s haunting novel, superbly intelligent, evocative and strange, reverberates in the memory for a long time, a song for the dead, a judgment.” (Angela Carter)

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Fiction. Women's Studies. Introduction by Ben Lerner. "Josef and Frederika Seifert made a bad marriage--he so metaphysical, she, furious frustrated singer, furious frustrated femme fatale, unfaithful within two months of the wedding day. The setting is small town Germany between the wars; the Seiferts are just those 'ordinary people' who helped Hitler rise, bequeathing their daughter, who tells their story, a legacy of grief and guilt. Rosmarie Waldrop's haunting novel, superbly intelligent, evocative and strange, reverberates in the memory for a long time, a song for the dead, a judgment."--Angela Carter