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Necessary lies - Eva Stachniak

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Necessary lies
Eva Stachniak
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

From the author of The Winter Palacecomes Eve Stachniak's first novel about the discovery of secrets and lies that stitch together empires and individual lives.

Winner of the 2000 in Canada First Novel Prize

Necessary Lies tells the story of the discovery of secrets and lies that stitch together empires and individual lives.

What are the lies we tell ourselves and others that get us through our lives? In the summer of 1981 Anna is suddenly offered the opportunity to study English at McGill University in Montreal. She jumps at the chance, leaving behind her job, her husband, and her country - Poland. She meets William, a music professor, and falls in love. Back home, martial law is declared. After almost ten years of marriage, William dies suddenly of a heart attack, and Anna is left to pick up the pieces. In the midst of grieving, she discovers more pieces than expected: for the length of their lives together, William carried on a long-distance affair with a woman journalist in Germany.

In search of truth, Anna returns to a dramatically changed Europe, where Communism has fallen, the Berlin Wall has been torn down, and where, once again, history will have to be rewritten. Probing the depths of betrayal and forgiveness, she confronts her own past and the motives that drove her away from Poland; she sees herself through the eyes of her mother, her ex-husband, and most importantly, William's German lover, Ursula.

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Eva Stachniak was born in Wroclaw, Poland, and came to Canada in 1981. She has been a radio broadcaster and college English and Humanities lecturer. Her debut novel, Necessary Lies, won the in Canada First Novel Award in 2000. Her latest novel, The Winter Palace, based on the early life of Catherine the Great, has been a bestseller in Canada, Poland and Germany. Eva Stachniak lives in Toronto.

[Stachniak's] human comedy is the oldest and best sort. Woven through the inevitable sadness is wonder at the revelation of human complexity and resilience.
The Globe and Mail - Jim Bartley

...the book that satisfied my three fictive R's: real people, real places, real emotions.
Books in Canada - Carmine Starnino

Offering a wealth of appealing sensory detail with what Clark Blaise once termed "authorial generosity" (I saw the streets of the cities, the shape and colour of people's clothes, tasted the food), the novel portrays the lives of Central European characters as journeys of survival in an age of tribal atrocities, whether those atrocities were cloaked in Nazism, Communism, or national vengeance.
Books in Canada - Julie Keith

It's not easy for a fiction writer to keep up with history when it's this big, but Stachniak and her characters do precisely that - as their own secrets and lies and hard-worn resilience parallel the extraordinary events happening around them. Necessary Lies is a brave and ambitious novel and a worthy winner.
Books in Canada - Joel Yanofsky

Necessary Lies serves to remind where we are by reminding where many of us have come from.
Books in Canada - Olga Stein, Editor

Themes of personal betrayal, collective denial and historically divided
identities initially drive this story. Stachniak's world is convincing and carefully wrought ... Necessary Lies satisfies most with the expressive fluidity of its prose, and its sharp portrait of a woman grappling with a bitter legacy.
The Globe and Mail - Jim Bartley

C format original
Keyword Index
Polish people - Canada - Montral - Fiction.|Poland - Fiction.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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