Friday, October 28, 2016

Lauren Belfer

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?

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]
Learn more about the book and author at Lauren Belfer's website.

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.

--Marshal Zeringue