Anna, Ann, Annie
With the uncanny grace and sure hand of a master, Thomas Trebitsch Parker offers an indelible rendering of the woman caught between the Old World and the gleaming promise of post-war America. As the novel opens it is 1927, and Anna is 10 years old. The good citizens of Vienna assiduously avoid thinking about the Nazi threat, despite ominous portents of things to come. Anna's mother, a dancer and fierce iconoclast, and her father, a vainglorious writer, are supremely self-absorbed and leave Anna to her own devices. Having anointed themselves the artists of the household, they are astounded when it is revealed that Anna is a pianist of unusual gifts. When Anna's father leaves her mother it is only the first in a series of losses that will reverberate throughout Anna's life. Intent on reinventing herself, and bearing the memory of her last horrifying days in Vienna, Anna leaves Austria. First, to work as a servant in spiritually cramped London, where she changes her name to Ann. Then, across the ocean to a glossy America of Manhattan apartments, Florida beaches, and suburban split-levels. It is there, after betraying one man and being betrayed by another, that she discovers the redeeming powers of love and artistic achievement. It is there that the patterns of her past life begins subtly to repeat themselves - like a musical theme with finely wrought variations. And it is there, in the novel's brilliant and disquieting finale, but she takes up with Jake Weigel, the brash, quintessentially American power-broker Who rechristens her Annie, and who comes to embody all that she has tried to flee. At first charmingly expansive, Jake soon reveals darker aspects of his character that lead to a climax of disturbing power. With the elegant economy of scenes glimpsed from a moving train, this extraordinary novel portrays one woman's trajectory through life in episodes as haunting as dreams remembered. A single image - fine leather gloves strewn across the landscape by Nazi soldiers - speaks to us as powerfully as the more sweeping events of Anna's life. Not since D. M. Thomas's The White Hotel has there been a novel of such elegiac, heart-stirring beauty. It is a portrait with all the richness and exactitude of a Vermeer and the resonance of Anna's own music.
- 133.35 x 203.2 x 21.34mm | 458.13g
- 02 Aug 2013
- Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- United States
- black & white illustrations
About Thomas Trebitsch Parker
Thomas Trebitsch Parker is a best-selling, award-winning author, teacher, editor, ghostwriter, and business consultant. His first novel, Small Business, won the Commonwealth Club Silver Metal, and he has been awarded an O. Henry Prize for his short fiction. He lives in Menlo Park, California.