Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi

Ursula Hegi's Stones from the River clamors for comparisons to Gunter Grass's The Tin Drum; her protagonist Trudi Montag--like the unforgettable Oskar Mazerath--is a dwarf living in Germany during the two World Wars. To its credit, Stones does not wilt from the comparison. Hegi's book has a distinctive, appealing flavor of its own. Stone's characters are off-center enough to hold your attention despite the inevitable dominance of the setting: There's Trudi's mother, who slowly goes insane living in an "earth nest" beneath the family house; Trudi's best friend Georg, whose parents dress him as the girl they always wanted; and, of course, Trudi herself, whose condition dooms her to long for an impossible normalcy. Futhermore, the reader's inevitable sympathy for Trudi, the dwarf, heightens the true grotesqueness of Nazi Germany. Stones from the River is a nightmare journey with an unforgettable guide.

Ursula Hegi Photographed by Gordon Gagliano


I'll also be teaching this novel in the Fall 2008


abie said...

hi. thanks for visiting my site and checking out my WW!

Betty said...

When I retired, I thought I had also retired from reading "Literature". Nothing but fluff for me from here on out. But, you've made me want to read this book. Curses! Foiled again!

ratmammy said...

Thanks for visiting my site! I just came to visit and i loved STONES. I read it years ago so I can't remember a lot of it but I do remember the writing was top notch!