The rumors spread by the Camp's inmates, other Nazi officers, and the Kommandant's own family insist that she was his "mistress", but was she, voluntarily? Told from three different perspectives - that of the formerly idealistic Kommandant, the young Jewish inmate who captivates him, and the ostensibly objective historical biographies of the protagonists - this novel examines one troubling moral question over and over: if your staying alive was the only "good" during the War, if your survival was your sole purpose in this horrific world of the Concentration Camps - whether you were Nazi or Jewish - what, exactly, would you do to survive? Would you lie, cheat, steal, kill, submit? Flashing back and forth through the narrators' memories as theyrecall their time before, during, and after the War, and leading, inevitably, to their ultimate, shocking confrontation, "Szeman's uncompromising realism and superb use of stream-of-consciousness technique make [this novel] a chilling study of evil, erotic obsession, and the will to survive" (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY). Winner of the Kafka Prize for "best book of prose fiction by an American woman" ('94) and chosen as one of the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW's "Top 100 Books of the Year" ('93), the tales told by the Kommandant, his "mistress", and their "biographer" will mesmerize and stun you, leaving you wondering, at the conclusion, which, if any, is telling the complete truth about what happened between them.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.65(d)|
About the Author
Alexandria Constantinova Szeman is the author of several award-winning, critically acclaimed books, including The Kommandant's Mistress, Only with the Heart, Love in the Time of Dinosaurs, Naked with Glasses, Where Lightning Strikes, and Mastering Point of View. (formerly writing as "Sherri")
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Kommandant's Mistress, Revised & Expanded, 20th Anniversary Edition based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I read this book for the first time when it was originally published. I was entranced, seduced, and mesmerized by Ms. Szeman's writing. So what does any fan do when they are touched by a literary, artistic work - I wrote a fan letter to the author. Much to my surprise she responded. Her letter was gracious and polite. I tucked it away in between the pages of her book, forever grateful to Ms. Szeman for taking the time to respond. Recently I discovered that the book was reissued under her real name with added material. Last night I read the newly issued book in one sitting, again touched by the story, by the poetry weaved into the prose, and Ms. Szeman's own back story of how the book came to life. Some may say that it is not an easy book to follow, but the Holocaust is not an easy subject to write about. I urge you to disciple yourself, surrender to the flow of her words, and embrace the unexpected structure jumping from the past to the present; from the present to the past. Listen to the voices of the characters. Really listen, and maybe, like me, you will be changed by this book.
I read this when it first came ou I had borrowed it from the library; I immediatly went out and tried to buy it. After months of searching, I finally got it and I guard it - my mother's pals have tried to borrow it....Anyhow, I can't wait to read the 20th anniversary edition. What a great book......