An occult Nazi program is threatened by a philosopher’s letter to a friend in this “stunning work, full of mystery and strange tenderness” (Dan Chaon).
In the waning days of World War II, Nazi Germany is coming apart at the seams. Yet the death machine continues to churn. The Third Reich’s obsession with the astral plane has led to the formation of an underground compound of scribes—translators charged with answering letters addressed to concentration camp inmates who are most likely dead.
Into this covert compound comes a letter written by eminent philosopher Martin Heidegger to his optometrist, a prisoner of Auschwitz. Goebbels himself has demanded a response. But the mere presence of Heidegger’s words—one simple letter in a place filled with letters—sparks a series of events that will ultimately threaten the safety of the entire compound.
With this debut novel that is part thriller and part meditation on how the dead are remembered—and with threads of Heidegger’s philosophy woven throughout—Thaisa Frank deftly reconstructs the landscape of Nazi Germany in “a spellbinding, innovative, intellectually compelling tour–de–force” (Michelle Huneven).