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The Vanishing Sky


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For readers of Warlight and All the Light We Cannot See, an intimate story about love, loss and sacrifice as seen through the eyes of a German family during the Second World War

About the Author

L. Annette Binder was born in Germany and moved to the US as a child. Her short fiction collection Rise received the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, and her fiction has also appeared in the Pushcart Prize Anthology and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, among others. The Vanishing Sky is her first novel and is inspired by her family's experience in Second World War Germany. She lives in New England.


Binder was born in Germany herself and evokes great sympathy for Etta and her painfully fractured family, while opening up unusual angles on the terrible conflict. Written in purposefully even prose that is nonetheless harrowing, it's an intimate tragedy that's all the more powerful for refusing the ending we fervently hope for * Daily Mail *
A moving tale of a family destroyed by war . . . Inspired by her family's history, Binder unfolds a harrowing tale in limpid, expressive prose * Sunday Times *
Binder's debut explores familiar territory from a fresh perspective. The result is an engrossing novel peopled by believable and sympathetic characters * Mail on Sunday *
Achingly beautiful . . . Binder's work is subtle and compassionate yet also clear and devastating in its depiction of a nation - and its people - suffocating under the weight of an insidious and inhuman ideology, one that ultimately devastates those who believe its illusions. Enduringly relevant * The Advertiser *
Eloquent, and painfully human * Irish Examiner *
An empathic portrayal of the human cost of war . . . Binder's etched prose, her unwillingness to whitewash complicty, and the focus on Etta, a mother trying to hold her family together as madness and horror descend, offers a genuinely tragic vision * Sydney Morning Herald *
The novel has an unfussy, understated feel - reflected in Binder's calm prose - that belies its powerful impact. It's alternately subtle and striking, quiet and then, suddenly, deafeningly loud * Country and Town House *
A Time to Love and a Time to Die by Erich Maria Remarque has always been one of my favourite books, and Reunion by Fred Uhlman I consider a masterpiece, so it was with great pleasure that I read The Vanishing Sky, which told the same story from a completely different angle -- Jeffrey Archer
In her intimate and epic debut novel, L. Annette Binder lifts the lid on one family's darkest story to offer vital insight into daily life under the last days of the Third Reich. The Vanishing Sky is a heartrending and blazingly lucid depiction of Nazi Germany as not a simple monolith of evil but as an oppressive, fanatical political regime that was encountered, accommodated, rejected, and survived by ordinary people, people just like you and me -- Miriam Toews, author of 'Women Talking'
L. Annette Binder's The Vanishing Sky is so fiercely imagined, so wondrously conjured, that what you hold not only pulls you into its history but into a world of pure yearning, determination, struggle and hope. This is a story - in all its rich layers - that dazzles, breaks your heart, clutches you and gets you back up again. I'm grateful to have experienced it, and grateful to Binder for the gift she has given us -- Paul Yoon, author of 'The Mountain'
L. Annette Binder is a stunningly talented writer. Her stories are the stories of outsiders, gripping and heartfelt, heightened with hidden undertones of the surreal. It is this tension that makes the worlds she creates so vibrant, and allows her readers to see so deeply into these characters' souls -- Hannah Tinti, author of 'The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley'
The challenge in humanising the Western world's most tortured history proves no match for Binder's intellect, compassion, and unflinching gaze; one gets the feeling this writer, in the stunning precision of her painterly details, would prove virtuosic with any material she was handed to use. A hugely ambitious novel whose consummate, patient artistry is moving beyond measure -- Matthew Thomas, New York Times-bestselling author of 'We Are Not Ourselves'
L. Annette Binder arrives with worlds of empathy and strange surprise -- Praise for 'Rise', Ron Carlson, author of 'Return to Oakpine'

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