Lauren Belfer's debut novel, City of Light, was a New York Times bestseller, as well as a number one Book Sense pick, a Barnes & Noble Discover Award nominee, a New York Times Notable Book, a Library Journal Best Book, and a Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. City of Light was a bestseller in Great Britain and has been translated into six languages. Her second novel, A Fierce Radiance, was named a Washington Post Best Novel of 2010 and an NPR Best Mystery of 2010.
Belfer's latest novel is And After the Fire.
From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: How did you come up with the idea for your new novel, and why did you decide to focus on Bach’s work in particular?Learn more about the book and author at Lauren Belfer's website.
A: I got the idea for the book about 10 years ago. I received in the mail an announcement for an adult ed class about the work of Johann Sebastian Bach.
At that point I didn’t know much about Bach’s work except for the piano lessons I was forced to go to as a girl, yet I had a hunch that I should take the class.
It turned out to be very important—I met my husband in that class! What I learned in the class surprised me. Bach’s music was more glorious that I imagined, but when we studied the sacred music I learned that some [of it] does lash out at Catholics, Jews, Muslims, even Protestants of different denominations.
Bach was ordained as a minister of music in the Lutheran Church, and it was not a time of religious tolerance. To learn of the problematic pieces did not altogether surprise me given his era, but it was disturbing to me, [having] Jewish members of my family murdered during the war.
It was hard to come to terms with…It was hard to find a peaceful place to consider these issues and elements.
At the same time there were news stories about...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: A Fierce Radiance.
My Book, The Movie: A Fierce Radiance.
The Page 69 Test: And After the Fire.
Writers Read: Lauren Belfer (May 2016).
My Book, The Movie: And After the Fire.