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Ann Raeff w/ Sylvia Brownrigg
March 1, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
about Raeff’s new novel, Winter Kept Us Warm.
“Raeff writes with vivid assurance about Berlin, America, and Morocco, about men and women, about love and work. As the boundaries between characters shift, as past and present converge, Winter Kept Us Warm casts a dazzling spell. A wonderful novel.”–Margot Livesey, author of Mercury and Criminals
Ulli is a young woman squatting in a dismal, empty Berlin apartment, one year after the war has ended. She’s scraping together a living as an interpreter between American GIs and the wide-eyed local girls eager to meet them. One night, Ulli meets two soldiers who will change her life: Leo, handsome and ambitious and desperate to escape his small-town upbringing; and intellectual, asthmatic Isaac, whose refugee parents had fled Russia for New York.
Winter Kept Us Warm follows Ulli, Leo, and Isaac through the next six decades of their lives–from Berlin to postwar Manhattan, 1960s Los Angeles, and contemporary Morocco. A marriage. Two children. And yet only one parent. At the core of this novel is the mystery of how this came to be: a twisting narrative that explores the dark corners and lantern slides of these characters’ lives, revealing in pieces and fragments what became of their long-ago love triangle set against the brutality of postwar living.
Winter Kept Us Warm is an evocative story of family, strained by the cruelty of war and its generational repercussions. A novel of the heart, filled to the brim with unforgettable characters stitching together the deep threads of love, friendship, loyalty, and, of course, loss.
Anne Raeffe’s short story collection, The Jungle Around Us, won the 2015 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. It was also a finalist for the California Book Award and named one of the 100 Best Books of 2016 by San Francisco Chronicle. Her stories and essays have appeared in New England Review, ZYZZYVA, and Guernica, among other places. She lives in San Francisco.
Sylvia Brownrigg is the author of Pages for You and Pages for Her.