Tante Eva (Hardcover)
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A woman and her niece are bound together and driven apart by loves, desires, frustrations, and addictions.
East Berlin, a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Eva, a retired nurse, makes it through her day on a combination of stimulants and sleeping pills, wine and brandy. She finds fleeting joy in American jazz and blues records, and occasional visits from her married lover. Her friendly teenaged neighbor is her closest companion. Then her American niece, Maggie, arrives in Berlin. Eva is thrilled—Maggie is just the companion she’s been seeking. But happiness begins to slide from Eva’s grasp as Maggie’s own fierce drug addiction reveals itself.
Tante Eva is a story that deftly takes in decades of family life and German history, estrangement, joys, and disappointments. It is a portrait of East Berlin in the years after the Wall came down, and of an overlooked woman pursuing happiness and sexual pleasure. It is the finest book yet from Paula Bomer, an author whose work Jonathan Franzen describes as “some of the rawest and most urgent writing I can remember encountering.”
About the Author
Paula Bomer is the author of a novel, Nine Months, the story collections Baby and Inside Madeleine, and the essay collection Mystery and Mortality. She lives in Brooklyn.
Praise for Tante Eva
“I have read and loved all of Paula Bomer’s books but with Tante Eva she has taken her talent up a notch. From the opening scene to the final the pages this novel is utterly gripping, exquisitely written and wholly original. Tante Eva is Bomer in her mightiest form; a triumph.”
—Jessica Anya Blau, author of Mary Jane
“I inhaled this novel. Astute. Empathetic. Unsparing. Brilliant. Bomer pushes the emotional envelope—and then shoves harder.”
—Thelma Adams, author of Bittersweet Brooklyn
“Bomer’s novel is incisive in cataloging the consequences of war, and of the restrictive political systems that lead to, or follow from, it. For Eva, condemning the Nazis was easy; acknowledging the shortcomings of communism is less so . . . Tante Eva is a sensitive, startling novel about post-Soviet existence.”
Praise for Paula Bomer
“Dark, sharp, and hilarious.”
—New York Magazine
“Deliciously, dangerously rogue.”
“A brave and provocative book . . . An instant classic.”
“Brilliant, brutally raw.”
“Bomer flays the idea of happy little families . . . Not one to share with the Mommy and Me group.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review