Anya

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Overview

Anya is a myth, an epic...[by] a writer of remarkable power.—Washington Post
Anya Savikin lived among well-to-do Russian Jews in Poland, in a world more like Tolstoy's than our own, until the first bombing of Warsaw and the chaos that ensued. Her story incarnates the strength and love of eastern European Jewry, before and after their decimation. Reading group guide included.
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Overview

Anya is a myth, an epic...[by] a writer of remarkable power.—Washington Post
Anya Savikin lived among well-to-do Russian Jews in Poland, in a world more like Tolstoy's than our own, until the first bombing of Warsaw and the chaos that ensued. Her story incarnates the strength and love of eastern European Jewry, before and after their decimation. Reading group guide included.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
“A triumph of realism in art.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393325218
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/19/2004
  • Pages: 489
  • Sales rank: 984,629
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
Susan Fromberg Schaeffer (1940 - 2011) was a Professor of English and author of fourteen novels, six poetry collections, and other works.

Biography

Susan Fromberg Schaeffer's was known for her poetry and novels, which include Anya, Buffalo Afternoon, and The Madness of a Seduced Woman. Born in Brooklyn, she attended the University of Chicago in the '60s. She returned to New York City in 1967 to teach at Brooklyn College, where she met her husband, Neil Schaeffer. In 2002, the Schaeffers moved back to Chicago, where Susan served as a visiting professor in the English and Creative Writing departments at the University of Chicago. She died in 2011 at the age of 71.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Schaeffer:

"I am a very reclusive person. This is absolutely true. I can spend weeks at a time in the house and I don't mind at all. When I'm working, I become the world's worst correspondent, don't answer letters and barely make phone calls. I begin to think of the world outside as hermetically sealed, unreachable. This is hard on my friends who think I have either died or forgotten about them entirely. When I finish working for the day, I think about this and am swamped by guilt, but I've never been able to change my ways."

"My first job was horrible, and it was a good thing it was the only job I could get at the time. I worked in Boston for a publisher in the medical order department. By ten-thirty in the morning, I was finished with the day's work, and I had to spend the rest of the day appearing to be busy. After that, I was determined to finish my degrees and never have to have such a job again—although I did have one such job after I finished my Ph.D."

"My mother insisted I work during the summer before I began working at Brooklyn College, and I ended up at a religious T.V. station where scripts had to be typed scrupulously so that the minister did not find himself reading, ‘And the minister pauses here for an advertisement.' The T.V. station was very pleased with me, but I had a headache the entire time I was there. Since then, what headaches I've had were brought on only by me."

"I love old things—people, furniture, photographs. Old people know so much. Old artifacts appear to be trying to tell the stories of their lives and often inspire stories, if not novels, of their own. Time in Its Flight began when I found a picture of a child who was in his bed but who had been photographed by a photographer standing outside of the house who took the picture through a window."

"When I asked why anyone would have photographed a sleeping child while standing outside, the man who owned the picture said that was a ‘mourning picture.' The child had died, was probably contagious, and could only safely be photographed from a distance. I was struck by the difference in the nineteenth century's attitude toward death and my own. ‘There are a lot of pictures of dead children,' the owner told me, ‘and a lot of people who collect them. People took hair from someone who died and wove the hair into flowers and wreaths. People collect those, too.' I still have the first mourning picture I saw. It grew directly into Time in Its Flight."

"I collect far too many things because each one always seems as if it's about to tell me a story. There must be an incredible cacophony in my house that I no longer notice because by now, I've grown used to it."

"I love dolls' houses. When I first began writing novels, I would invariably begin work on another dolls' house. My third novel, Time in Its Flight, must be one of the longest novels in the world, and during the time I worked on it, I created two dolls' houses and populated them with tiny dolls, each wearing Victorian costumes. When I look at the dolls, I still can't believe I had the patience. But there is something about creating a little world as you create a dolls' house. The making of a dolls' house involves enormous concentration and I would work out how I needed to write a novel while I was constructing it."

"I hate deadlines. I'm always sure I'm going to miss them and am convinced that if I miss so much as one deadline, I will never meet another one again. This is because I believe myself to be a basically lazy person. Instead of missing deadlines, I finish everything early and then fume when other people don't tell me what they think of my work at once."

"Life often seems impossible (I can't be the only person who often thinks this), and at such times, the solution is weather. If it is raining or snowing, I watch the rain or the snow fall. If I am stuck when writing, I get out of the house and go to The Point and watch the waves in Lake Michigan. Sometimes simply standing on the back porch and feeling the cold air sting my skin is enough. Weather is a remarkable thing. It is always there and it is always different."

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    1. Date of Birth:
      March 25, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      August 26, 2011
    2. Place of Death:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Chicago, 1961; M.A., University of Chicago, 1963; Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1966
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2005

    memorable

    I read this book nearly 25 years ago and the story and characters have stayed with me since. They were so striking and well developed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2004

    Mesmerizing

    I've read this book so many times, the pages are falling out. Schaeffer made these characters real to me, full of moral and physical strengh beyond reason.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

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    Posted July 1, 2009

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    Posted October 31, 2008

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