Monday, January 14, 2013

Malve von Hassell - Rennefarre - Author Interview & Giveaway



Unfortunately, we did not have any giveaway entries, so there is no winner.

About the Book

Imagine riding on the back of a blue heron across time and space. Imagine befriending crows, being kidnapped by magpies, and being given a lift on the back of a kindly stag. Imagine experiencing life as an outcast from human society, encountering spirits and mythical creatures from the world of legends, experiencing the plague in Dresden, and being chased through Berlin by Frederick the Great.

Dott is a twelve-year old girl. She lives in the countryside east of Berlin in an unspecified time between the two world wars. When Dott sneaks out to see the bonfire at the edge of her village on the evening of the midsummer night festival, she has no idea what will happen next. In the dark of night, the magical Rennefarre flower falls into her shoe. It not only makes her invisible, but also allows her to see things no one else could see. No longer able to stay with her parents and her young brother and sister, she begins her search to find a way out of her predicament.

Her quest to return home to her family winds its way through the cities and countryside of 20th century Germany—and beyond. As she befriends the local animals, they help her on her way with gifts of food, shelter, and—through the help of a kind spirit—a magical cup which allows her to become small and ride on the backs of the birds.

Flying across the country on the backs of crows and herons, Dott finds herself seeing the country not only as it is, but also as it used to be. She lives through moments in history others can only read about—meeting historical kings and fanciful spirits along the way. But, even with all of the excitement of her travels, she always has one goal in mind: returning home to her family.

Part coming-of-age story, part fantasy, and part social-cultural portrait of Eastern Germany in the early part of the 20th century, the book covers real ground. That is, one could follow Dott's travels on a map of the area. Seamlessly blending elements of fantasy and history, the book contains a fascinating array of details of day-to-day life in rural and urban areas in eastern Germany. Dott’s adventures are interwoven with folklore and myths as well as vivid accounts of different eras and the diverse cultural and ethnic strains that have formed the basis for a rich and complex history of Germany and Eastern Europe. Written on the eve of World War II, the book offers a sobering perspective on the human potential for causing devastation. At the same time it is filled with hope. In one scene, Dott gets a glimpse of the future — an utterly destroyed cityscape; it inspires her to look to her own responsibilities and actions in life.


Author Interview

1. Please tell us about your current release.
The first English edition of Rennefarre is the culmination of a dream of mine—a perfect storm of things that I love: a wonderful original text, the challenge of translation, the thrill of research, and the joy of assembling everything into a finished product. I am excited that it is now in print and available to an English reading audience.

2. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?
I have loved Rennefarre since I was a child. I read it over and over, fascinated and charmed by the adventures of Dott, the main character—described in such a tangible and immediate fashion. I loved the voices of the animals that Dott encounters. The descriptions and scenes are so real that it is easy to imagine oneself following along in Dott’s footsteps. Dott, impulsive, stubborn, and passionate, was real and believable to me as a child. As an adult returning to this book, I decided that it was a treasure that should be made available to English readers.

3. Can you tell us about the story behind your book cover?
The cover depicts a scene in the book where Dott seeks out a place to sleep for the night. When she stands in front of this building, she feels very much alone and is grateful for the company of Ardea, the young heron next to her. She ends up sleeping in the abbey, sheltered and kept warm by the heron’s wing. The image conveys many elements of the story, the thrill of discovery, the charm of nature, a multi-layered and complex history, the importance of friendship, and the feeling of being alone.

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Rennefarre can be purchased at:
MyBookOrders.com


Price: $13.99 paperback
ISBN: 9781938690389
Pages: 297
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Release: December 11, 2012


About the Author

Malve von Hassell is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. She holds a Ph. D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research. Working as an independent scholar, she published several books and journal articles, in particular, The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996). She has also edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell's memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schlie├čt sich - Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994). She has taught at Queens College, Baruch College, Pace University, and Suffolk County Community College, while continuing her work as a translator and writer. She has published a children’s picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (Mill City Press, 2012), and completed a manuscript for a historical fiction book set in the 13th century for young adults, Falconello. She is working on a historical fiction novel set in Jerusalem in the time of the crusades.

Links to connect with Malve:
Web Site
Facebook
Goodreads
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

Leave a comment with your email address to enter to win a PDF ebook of Rennefarre. Ends January 31, 2013.

2 comments:

  1. Connie, thanks for inviting Malve to stop by and chat about her very special book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Connie for giving my book a spot on your blog! Malve

    ReplyDelete