The Empire of the Senses: A Novel (Paperback)

The Empire of the Senses: A Novel By Alexis Landau Cover Image
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A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year

The Empire of the Senses
is an enthralling tale of love and war, duty and self-discovery. It begins in 1914 when Lev Perlmutter, an assimilated German Jew fighting in World War I, finds unexpected companionship on the Eastern Front; back at home, his wife Josephine embarks on a clandestine affair of her own. A decade later, during the heady, politically charged interwar years in Berlin, their children—one, a nascent Fascist struggling with his sexuality, the other a young woman entranced by the glitz and glamour of the Jazz Age—experience their own romantic awakenings. With a painter’s sensibility for the layered images that comprise our lives, this exquisite novel by Alexis Landau marks the emergence of a writer uniquely talented in bringing the past to the present.

About the Author

Alexis Landau is a graduate of Vassar College. She received her MFA from Emerson College and her PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. This is her first novel. Alexis lives with her husband and her two children in Santa Monica, California.

Praise For…

“Stunning. . . . Elegantly crafted and psychologically astute.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A gripping, beautifully written saga. . . . A fresh and moving perspective on a piece of history we thought we already knew.” —Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train

“Poignant. . . . Richly appointed. . . . Life at any time and place, [Landau’s] title and her prose seem to say, is full of sensual beauty, if you choose to live it that way.” —Tablet

“A sweeping family epic. . . . Internal dramas mirror the turbulent cultural landscape of 1920s Germany.” —Los Angeles Magazine

“Lush, smart, sexy, affecting, interesting, beautifully researched, and well made. Spending time in the world of this novel is an absolute pleasure.” —Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

“Landau evokes the Weimar Republic era with spellbinding detail and nuance, deftly capturing the zeitgeist in the characters’ colorful pursuits. . . . Lev’s struggle with his Jewish identity is also fascinating.” —Publishers Weekly

“A top-notch literary saga with a gripping plotline. . . . Each perfectly crafted individual is fully involved in the surrounding world. In Landau’s hands, even a simple trip to the barber becomes meaningful and illustrative of the novel’s themes. The characters’ actions and thoughts are so three-dimensionally human that readers may forget they’re reading fiction.” —Booklist

“[Landau] follows one family through two wars, four romances and one death with . . . thought and craft. . . . Highly readable.” —Kirkus

“An impressive debut. . . . Where Landau truly excels is with her scope, her ability to guide [her characters] through the years, highlighting national tragedy while homing in on individual plights. The result is an expansive novel but also one skillfully in tune with the intricacies of the human spirit. . . . Gripping.” —The National (UAE)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780804173469
ISBN-10: 080417346X
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
Pages: 496
Language: English