The Tortoises

The Tortoises

Veza Canetti

Austria, after annexation. A villa on the outskirts of Vienna is the home of Jewish scholar Andreas Kain and his wife Eva – until they are brutally evicted by the new powers. They take refuge with Andreas's brother Werner, a geologist interested only in his collection of stones, and lead lives of quiet desperation, trying to preserve their dignity in the face of the meanness, despotism and brutality of the new order. Helplessness and fear finally give birth to a madcap plan to escape by aeroplane. But they are betrayed and, due to a tragic mistake, Werner is arrested in Andreas's place. He dies in a concentration camp, while Andreas and Eva manage to emigrate to England. The once respected and now degraded and terrified Jewish couple are as convincingly portrayed by Veza Canetti as the unscrupulous profiteers and the courageous and kindly people amongst whom the Kains once lived peacefully. Her novel bears unique witness to the dignity and weakness of human beings in evil times, and the authentic events the book is based upon make it compelling, moving and unforgettable.


Foreign Sales

USA (New Directions Publ. Corp.), Italy (Marsilio Editori), Spain (Plaza & Janes Editori; Seix Barral), Norway (Solum Forlag)

The Tortoises

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