THE PATIENT ECSTASY OF FRAULEIN BRAUN
A Novel by Lavonne Mueller
A disturbing, haunting novel about Hitler seen through the eyes of the woman who worshiped him
Eva understands Hitler is married to Germany and must herself stand back unacknowledged as he enclasps the world in a passionate, python-like thrall. Until the last days in the final chapter of the Third Reich (and the first chapter of the novel), when Adolf and Eva move into their first home together, the Führerbunker. There, deep underground, hidden from the light of day and the light of history, but laid fully bare to the author’s unblinking eye, Eva Braun’s patriotism and patience finally pay off—in a private wedding ceremony and a cyanide capsule.
Mueller imagines the claustrophobic and morally twisted underground world of the Third Reich’s last gasp. All the Führer’s men and women, like rats in a trap, grow more and more desperate, more and more perverse, as they compete for the final crumbs of attention from their doomed leader. Only one soul remains calm amid the chaos: the ever-patient, ever pliant paramour of the vilest man who ever lived.
As the world around them goes astoundingly mad, their devotion to each other remains unsullied. Trusting. Even innocent.
Eminent biographer Lytton Strachey cautions us that “it is not by the direct method of a scrupulous narration that the explorer of the past can hope to depict that singular epoch. If the author is wise, he/she will…fall upon the flank, or the rear, will shoot a sudden, revealing searchlight into obscure recesses.” Taking Strachey’s advice, Mueller has exposed those “obscure recesses” through the lovesick eyes of Eva Braun.
LAVONNE MUELLER (Chicago) is the recipient of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and NEA grants for her writing. As a Fulbright creative artist she worked in Argentina and Jordan; under an Asian Cultural Grant she investigated the culture of Calcutta. Her textbook on creative writing (Doubleday) has remained a classic in schools around the country.
FICTION • CLOTH • $24.95
304 pp • 6 X 9 • World
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