May in Larkin Square means the return of beloved Buffalo author Lauren Belfer. Since the founding of the Larkin Square Author Series in 2013, Lauren Belfer has graciously returned to Buffalo and Larkin Square each May to speak about her books, City of Light and A Fierce Radiance and to thoughtfully interview special guest authors and friends of hers, Elinor Lipman ( 2014) and Verlyn Klinkenborg (2015).
On May 16th, 2016 at 5:30 pm, The Larkin Square Author Series is pleased to welcome Lauren Belfer to speak about her newly published book, and After the Fire, (HarperCollins, May 2016).
Her new novel, inspired by historical events—about two women, one European and one American, from Buffalo, and the mysterious choral masterpiece by Johann Sebastian Bach that changes both their lives. The novel begins in 1945 at the end of World War II.
HarperCollins shares the following about and After the Fire:
“In the ruins of Germany in 1945, at the end of World War II, American soldier Henry Sachs takes a souvenir, an old music manuscript, from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop him.
In America in 2010, Henry’s niece, Susanna Kessler, struggles to rebuild her life after she experiences a devastating act of violence on the streets of New York City. When Henry dies soon after, she uncovers the long-hidden music manuscript. She becomes determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner, a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family’s history—and also offer her an opportunity to finally make peace with the past.
In Berlin, Germany, in 1783, amid the city’s glittering salons where aristocrats and commoners, Christians and Jews, mingle freely despite simmering anti-Semitism, Sara Itzig Levy, a renowned musician, conceals the manuscript of an anti-Jewish cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, an unsettling gift to her from Bach’s son, her teacher. This work and its disturbing message will haunt Sara and her family for generations to come.
Interweaving the stories of Susanna and Sara, and their families, And After the Fire traverses over two hundred years of history, from the eighteenth century through the Holocaust and into today, seamlessly melding past and present, real and imagined. Lauren Belfer’s deeply researched, evocative, and compelling narrative resonates with emotion and immediacy.”