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y separately published work icon The Book of Dirt single work   novel   historical fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 The Book of Dirt
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'They chose not to speak and now they are gone. What's left to fill the silence is no longer theirs. This is my story, woven from the threads of rumour and legend.'

'Jakub Rand flees his village for Prague, only to find himself trapped by the Nazi occupation. Deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, he is forced to sort through Jewish books for a so-called Museum of the Extinct Race. Hidden among the rare texts is a tattered prayer book, hollow inside, containing a small pile of dirt.

'Back in the city, Františka Roubíčková picks over the embers of her failed marriage, despairing of her conversion to Judaism. When the Nazis summon her two eldest daughters for transport, she must sacrifice everything to save the girls from certain death.

'Decades later, Bram Presser embarks on a quest to find the truth behind the stories his family built around these remarkable survivors.

'The Book of Dirt is a completely original novel about love, family secrets, and Jewish myths. And it is a heart-warming story about a grandson's devotion to the power of storytelling and his family's legacy.'

Notes

  • For Debbie and Dari

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2017 .
      image of person or book cover 4333521681027782217.jpg
      This image has been sourced from Booktopia
      Extent: 300p.
      Note/s:
      •  Published 28th August 2017

      ISBN: 9781925240269

Works about this Work

NSW Premier's Literary Awards : Kim Scott and Bram Presser Scoop up Accolades Dee Jefferson , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , May 2018;

'Melbourne writer, criminal lawyer and punk rocker Bram Presser has won three of the 12 categories in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards.' 

What Fills the Silence : The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser Jerath Head , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , May 2018;

'In David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2012), the anthropologist and activist asks, ‘How does it become possible to treat people as if they are identical?’ He is reflecting on how a human being can be turned into an object of exchange, a slave—this ‘requires first of all ripping her from her context; that is, tearing her away from that web of relations that makes her the unique conflux of relations that she is’.' (Introduction)

Imagined Lives Make History Beejay Silcox , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 18 November 2017; (p. 23)

'Stories, like conjuring tricks, are invented because history is inadequate for our dreams.” So wrote American novelist Steven Millhauser. Two ambitious Australian novels, Sara Dowse’s As the Lonely Fly and Bram Presser’s The Book of Dirt, turn to fiction where history has failed and memory is fading.'

Sobs and Whispers Anna MacDonald , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 396 2017; (p. 30)

— Review of The Book of Dirt Bram Presser , 2017 single work novel

'Within the last decade, a new wave of writers has emerged whose work is indebted to W.G. Sebald. Sebald’s name, become an adjective (‘Sebaldian’), is often used as shorthand for describing a writer’s approach to history and memory, or his or her use of images alongside word-text, or the presence of a peripatetic narrator, or the rejection of conventional generic categories such as ‘fiction’ and ‘non-fiction’. Edmund de Waal, Valeria Luiselli, Teju Cole, Jáchym Topol, Erwin Mortier, and Katherine Brabon, to name a few, have all been critically associated with the German author.'(Introduction)

The Fictional Dimension Scott Whitmont , 2017 single work interview
— Appears in: Books + Publishing , July vol. 97 no. 3 2017; (p. 25)

'Bram Presser's The Book of Dirt (Text, September) is 'a remarkable tale of Holocaust survival, love, and genealogical sleuthing by a grandson intent on finding the truth about his grandparent's past', writes reviewer Scott Whitmont. He spoke to the author.' (Introduction)

Sobs and Whispers Anna MacDonald , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 396 2017; (p. 30)

— Review of The Book of Dirt Bram Presser , 2017 single work novel

'Within the last decade, a new wave of writers has emerged whose work is indebted to W.G. Sebald. Sebald’s name, become an adjective (‘Sebaldian’), is often used as shorthand for describing a writer’s approach to history and memory, or his or her use of images alongside word-text, or the presence of a peripatetic narrator, or the rejection of conventional generic categories such as ‘fiction’ and ‘non-fiction’. Edmund de Waal, Valeria Luiselli, Teju Cole, Jáchym Topol, Erwin Mortier, and Katherine Brabon, to name a few, have all been critically associated with the German author.'(Introduction)

The Fictional Dimension Scott Whitmont , 2017 single work interview
— Appears in: Books + Publishing , July vol. 97 no. 3 2017; (p. 25)

'Bram Presser's The Book of Dirt (Text, September) is 'a remarkable tale of Holocaust survival, love, and genealogical sleuthing by a grandson intent on finding the truth about his grandparent's past', writes reviewer Scott Whitmont. He spoke to the author.' (Introduction)

Imagined Lives Make History Beejay Silcox , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 18 November 2017; (p. 23)

'Stories, like conjuring tricks, are invented because history is inadequate for our dreams.” So wrote American novelist Steven Millhauser. Two ambitious Australian novels, Sara Dowse’s As the Lonely Fly and Bram Presser’s The Book of Dirt, turn to fiction where history has failed and memory is fading.'

What Fills the Silence : The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser Jerath Head , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , May 2018;

'In David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2012), the anthropologist and activist asks, ‘How does it become possible to treat people as if they are identical?’ He is reflecting on how a human being can be turned into an object of exchange, a slave—this ‘requires first of all ripping her from her context; that is, tearing her away from that web of relations that makes her the unique conflux of relations that she is’.' (Introduction)

NSW Premier's Literary Awards : Kim Scott and Bram Presser Scoop up Accolades Dee Jefferson , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , May 2018;

'Melbourne writer, criminal lawyer and punk rocker Bram Presser has won three of the 12 categories in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards.' 

Last amended 31 Jan 2019 08:14:35
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