The Undertaking

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 9/15/2015
  • Publisher: Grove Press

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A finalist for the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

“Impressive. Magee’s terse style, cross-cutting between the narratives of Katharina and Peter, generates its own tension and momentum.”—New York Times Book Review

“Bare, brutal…told with a sharply focused simplicity that both exposes and condemns through its understatement.”—Kirkus Reviews

Lauded by New York Times bestselling writer Chris Cleave as “outstanding” and finalist for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, The Undertaking is a remarkable debut novel from enticing new voice in fiction, Audrey Magee. Set during World War II amid the trenches of the Eastern front and the turmoil of Berlin under the Third Reich, The Undertaking follows the lives of an ordinary German soldier Peter Faber, as he approaches Stalingrad, and his new wife, Katharina Spinell, who, goaded on by her delusional parents, ruthlessly works her way into Nazi high society with tragic consequences. This is an unforgettable and elegant novel of marriage, ambition, and the brutality of war from one of our finest new writers.

“This is a devastating but quite stunning first novel.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A bold, honest novel about Nazi greed and moral blankness...Magee's cool, precise tone recalls Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin, and, like Heinrich Böll, Magee is haunted by the everyday and the small people who are inseparably part of a great ravagement.”—Helen Dunmore, The Guardian (UK

Author Biography

Audrey Magee worked for twelve years as a journalist and has written for, among others, The Times, The Irish Times and the Guardian. She studied German and French at University College Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University. She lives in Wicklow with her husband and three daughters. The Undertaking is her first novel.

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