Paul Grossman is the critically acclaimed author of The Sleepwalkers, which was published in 2010, and Children of Wrath, released in February, 2012. He is also a long-time teacher of writing and literature at the City University of New York.
From his Q & A with Lenny Picker at Publishers Weekly:
Where did Kraus come from?Visit Paul Grossman's website.
I wanted to write a novel set during the final days of the Weimar Republic, using the political drama of the Nazi rise to power as a backdrop. In researching the subject, I came across the remarkable figure of Bernhard Weiss, who was one of Berlin’s top cops at the time. He was the first Jew ever to have risen to the top echelons of German law enforcement. It sparked the idea of creating a Jewish detective working during those tumultuous last months of democracy.
And then your editor suggested that you write a prequel?
I was shocked when they chose a prequel for me to write as my second novel. In the first book, The Sleepwalkers, I casually mentioned an earlier case of Willi’s about an infamous “Child Eater.” Suddenly, I had to write an entire novel based on the case. It wasn’t my first preference, and once I committed to the project, I really had to pick my brain intensely to come up with a feasible plot. But gradually, the elements began falling into place. One major influence in my decision making was the works of German psychologist Alice Miller and her ideas on how German child-rearing practices of the 19th century became a key component in the rise of Nazism. A few...[read on]
Writers Read: Paul Grossman October 2010).
The Page 69 Test: The Sleepwalkers.
My Book, The Movie: The Sleepwalkers.