“A vibrantly told love story” with tragic roots in WWII Czechoslovakia (The Washington Post).
An American-born son of Czech immigrants grows up in postwar New York, part of a boisterous community of the displaced where he learns fragments of European history, Czech fairy tales, and family secrets gleaned from overheard conversations. Central in his young imagination is the heroic account of the seven Czech parachutists who, in 1942, assassinated a high-ranking Nazi. Yet one essential story has always evaded him: his mother’s.
He suspects she had a great wartime love, the loss of which bred a sadness that slowly engulfed her. As an adult, he travels to Prague, hoping to piece together her hidden past—leading to the compelling story at the heart of The Visible World—an “almost unbearably poignant work . . . a penetrating, beautifully composed novel from a writer with a tangible sense of place and period,” the acclaimed author of Brewster and God’s Fool, named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle (Booklist).
“The sheer beauty of Mark Slouka’s prose will draw comparisons to The English Patient.” —Gary Shteyngart, New York Times–bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story
“A book that will last.” —Colum McCann, National Book Award–winning author of Let the Great World Spin