"One of the most harrowing, powerful, and imaginative books of the year" (Anthony Doerr), about twin sisters fighting to survive the evils of World War II.
Pearl is in charge of the sad, the good, the past.
Stasha must care for the funny, the future, the bad.
It's 1944 when the twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood.
As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele's Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain.
That winter, at a concert orchestrated by Mengele, Pearl disappears. Stasha grieves for her twin but clings to the possibility that Pearl remains alive. When the camp is liberated by the Red Army, she and her companion, Feliks - a boy bent on vengeance for his own lost twin - travel through Poland's devastation. Undeterred by injury, starvation, and the chaos around them, motivated by equal parts danger and hope, they encounter hostile villagers, Jewish resistance fighters, and fellow refugees, their quest enabled by the notion that Mengele may be captured and brought to justice within the ruins of the Warsaw Zoo. As the young survivors discover what has become of the world, they must try to imagine a future within it.
A superbly crafted story, told in a voice as exquisite as it is boundlessly original, Mischling defies every expectation, traversing one of the darkest moments in human history to show us the way toward ethereal beauty, moral reckoning, and soaring hope.
"Mischling is a phenomenal book - harrowing and heartbreaking, intimate and epic - and Affinity Konar is a wise and compassionate writer with talent in spades. An achingly beautiful novel that will stay with me for a long, long time." (Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans)
"This novel, haunted by history and the unknowable power of family, is made bearable - indeed, necessary - by the spectacle of a literary imagination that observes no limits. Konar has produced a tremendously unsettled work of art." (Ben Marcus, author of The Flame Alphabet)
"Affinity Konar's Mischling is a tale of courage, courageously told - spare and beautiful, riveting and heartrending. Half of me wanted to linger over every page, the other half insisted I race ahead. It's a case of extraordinary storytelling from first page to transcendent last." (David Wroblewski, author of the New York Times best seller The Story of Edgar Sawtelle)
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*We Will Never Forget*...So much to remember
Provocative, evocative, beautifully crafted