Summer on the Cold War Planet
By Paula Classon Buck
Genre: Literary Fiction
Release: September 3, 2015
“Each story he told shed about as much light as a match and made all the dark around it worth wanting to know...”
In the late spring of 1989, Lyddie, a young American art historian, finds herself alone and pregnant when her husband, Phelps, disappears in Kurdish Iraq. Set adrift from the security of their marriage, she returns to the divided city of Berlin where they met four years before, seeking truths she believes Phelps may have kept from her.
Now the ferment at Germany’s borders is spilling into the private lives of their bohemian friends—particularly that of exiled East German painter Axel Herzog. Lyddie has always felt the gravitational pull of Axel’s art and of the stories of mystics he learned as a boy in Greece. And though Phelps once warned her away from Axel, the attraction grows stronger as she uncovers a vulnerability beneath the scorn he learned on the other side of the Wall.
When revelations about Axel’s past force her to retreat to an island in Greece, Lyddie finds she has run headlong into everything she has tried to avoid.
In this novel of conflicting allegiances played out between a richly realized late Cold War Berlin and the stark beauty of the Cycladic islands, travellers, natives, and refugees circle one another warily, their fates hanging on the question of which trusts if any, will remain unviolated.
Paula Closson Buck is the author of two books of poems. Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Southern Review, Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares. She has lived briefly in both Berlin and the Greek islands, but her current home is in Lewisburg, PA, where she teaches creative writing at Bucknell University.
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