Feb-28 Sydney: The Hollow Bones by Leah Kaminsky: Book Launch

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Shalom | Sydney Jewish Writer’s Festival is proud to be hosting the book launch for Leah Kaminsky’s latest novel, The Hollow Bones.

Join Michaela Kalowski in conversation with Leah at the Woollahra Library on Thursday 28 February at 7:30pm.

In 1936, the Third Reich gives young zoologist Ernst Schäfer the job of investigating the origins of the Aryan race. He must travel to Tibet to find evidence that their ancestors emerged triumphant in that far off land from a great cosmic battle between fire and ice.

Ernst is overwhelmed; although his scientific obsession with rare Tibetan birds has seen him lead previous expeditions there, what can an ornithologist prove to the world about the human race? But his doubts give way to his ambitions, as he recognises the opportunity to rise through the ranks of the SS and the Reich.

While Ernst prepares for the trip, he marries his childhood sweetheart, Herta, with whom he has recently been reunited. A beautiful and forthright flautist who is frustrated by the ideals of womanhood and marriage under the Reich, Herta grows increasingly suspicious of Ernst and his expedition. And when Ernst finally sets out on his expedition in April 1938, he and his colleagues realise they have little to discover in remote Tibet – and that the world has its eyes firmly fixed on the horror about to take place in Germany.

The Hollow Bonesby Leah Kaminsky brings to life one of the Nazi regime’s little-known villains through the eyes of the animals he destroyed and the wife he hurt in the name of science. Herta appears in very few historical texts about Ernst and his expeditions, and Leah’s fictional account of her and her husband is drawn from letters, films, photographs and secret documents. Who is allowed to speak, and to collect, and to control? Who can say which genes deserve to be preserved, and which destroyed? With a thrilling twist, The Hollow Bones follows the slippery slope of both science and love gone wrong, warning us to heed the lessons of the past.

The book will be on sale and there will be time for an audience Q&A with master storyteller Leah Kaminsky. Tickets on sale at www.shalom.edu.au.

The Hollow Bones has already received high praise in literary circles including festival favourite Bram Presser who said:

 ‘From the embers of history, Kaminsky weaves a cracking tale of adventure, competing loyalties and the folly of sacrificing reason on the ideological altar’

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