Books by Michael Henry Heim

ADVENTURES IN IMMEDIATE IRREALITY by Max Blecher
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 17, 2015

"A stylistically brittle, psychologically intense story of a young man who knows that his time is almost up."
A new translation of a long-lost philosophical novel by the late Jewish Romanian writer Blecher (1909-1938). Read full book review >
HOMECOMING by Bernhard Schlink
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

"Not equal to Schlink's best."
Several "homecomings" are chronicled in this earnest, carefully layered novel from the German author. Read full book review >
DAY IN DAY OUT by Terézia Mora
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 4, 2007

"Lost in translation?"
In this debut novel from Hungarian-born Mora (the author now lives in Germany), a man who speaks ten languages but has no country to call home wanders the reconfigured borders of the former Eastern Europe in search of an identity. Read full book review >
PEELING THE ONION by Günter Grass
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 25, 2007

"The reader must decide whether this eloquent self-portrait does express regret, even atonement; represents yet another 'evasion'; or, how much, in the final analysis, the difference actually matters."
The 1999 Nobel Prize-winner tells the story of his childhood, youth and early artistic career in a riveting memoir that has quickly attracted international controversy and not a little righteous anger. Read full book review >
A GUEST IN MY OWN COUNTRY by George Konrád
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 24, 2007

"Still, a valuable and absorbing chronicle of a terrible ordeal and of the transcendent courage shown by both its survivors and its victims."
A notable European intellectual's path from persecution, exile and privation to the status of spokesman for his embattled country's resiliency. Read full book review >
THE MINISTRY OF PAIN by Dubravka Ugresic
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 10, 2006

"Ironically, with all the high tragedy in the wings, it's when Ugresic's sharp gaze turns to the minute and the arcane (a female character speaks with 'high-pitched sh's and sch's') that her novel achieves inimitable, devastating clarity."
A Croatian intellectual's flight to the Netherlands from the ruins of Yugoslavia yields striking vignettes of emotional shellshock, linguistic displacement and limbo-like stasis. Read full book review >
MY CENTURY by Günter Grass
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1999

" A masterly synthesis of fiction, history, and autobiography. My Century is one of Grass's most skillfully crafted books and proof positive that the Nobel Prize - passing this year from José Saramago to Günter Grass - once again rests in good hands."
On September 30th, Sweden's Nobel Committee righted what many have long considered an egregious wrong by awarding its 1999 Prize for Literature to Germany's greatest living novelist. Grass remains most celebrated for his early masterpieces, The Tin Drum and Dog Years, but forty years' worth of vigorous fiction, poetry, and sociopolitical commentary testify eloquently to his ongoing creative vitality, as do a highly controversial recent novel (to appear here next year as Too Far Afield) and his ingenious new fiction, My Century: a mosaic history of modern Germany, comprising a hundred brief stories, one for each year of the present century. Thus: a young Bavarian soldier recounts his experiences in China during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900; a pieceworker at the Krupp munitions factory explains how a (then) ultimate weapon was named "Big Bertha" after her; a "peat cutter" forced to help build a concentration camp comments on Jesse Owens's domination of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games; and unnamed representative citizens offer their perspectives on such watershed events as the "economic miracle" of the late 1950s, the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Grass varies these narrating voices, which, though engagingly differentiated, are uniformly lively and seductive. The war years 1914-18 are discussed, in conversations held nearly a half-century afterward, by prominent German novelists Erich Maria Remarque and (the now centenarian) Ernst Juenger. A nameless war correspondent fills in details of the period 1941-45. And Grass himself chimes in, first in 1927 (the year of his birth), then with increasing frequency from the 1980s forward, as he wryly observes his country's resurgent militarism, gathers material for the aforementioned Too Far Afield (which was published in1995), and, when in the 1990s geneticists begin cloning sheep, expresses his fear of a coming "fatherless society." And in the mischievous and dazzling final chapter ("1999"), Grass's late mother (d. 1954) tartly laments the prospect of her now elderly son, who's "made quite a name for himself…bringing me to life again for one of his stories." Read full book review >
UNCLE FEDYA, HIS DOG, AND HIS CAT by Eduard Uspensky
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

In this Russian tale of separation and reunion, ``Uncle Fedya''—a boy ``who could read by the time he was four and make soup by the time he was six''—sets up housekeeping. Willfully deserting his parents' city apartment, he moves in with a talking cat and dog, a tractor that runs on soup, and a portable plug-in sun, while also attracting still more quirky animals and a recalcitrant postal carrier to his doorstep in rural Milkville. Meanwhile, his frantic parents follow every lead in their quest to find their missing boy. B&w illustrations in an old-fashioned European style provide frequent breaks throughout. Loaded with cockeyed problems, absurd solutions, and a deliciously deadpan delivery, a lively read-aloud for those considering fleeing family and home. (Folklore/Fiction. 5-9) Read full book review >