Bernhard Schlink brings to these seven superbly crafted stories the same sleek concision and moral acuity that made The Reader an international bestseller. His characters–men with importunate appetites and unfortunate habits of deception–are uneasily suspended between the desire for love and the impulse toward flight.
A young boy’s fascination with an eerily erotic painting gradually leads him into the labyrinth of his family’s secrets. The friendship between a West Berliner and an idealistic young couple from the East founders amid the prosperity and revelations that follow the collapse of communism. An acrobatic philanderer (one wife and two mistresses, all apparently quite happy) begins to crack under the weight of his abundance. By turns brooding and comic, and filled with the suspense that comes from the inexorable unfolding of character, Flights of Love is nothing less than masterful
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Flights of Love|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Flights of Love|
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Flights of Love
Chapter OneGirl With Lizard
It was a painting of a girl with a lizard. They were looking at each other and not looking at each other, the girl gazing dreamily toward the lizard, the lizard directing its vacant, glistening eyes toward the girl. Because the girl's thoughts were somewhere else, she was holding so still that even the lizard sat motionless on the moss-grown rock, on which the girl lay half leaning, half stretched out on her stomach. The lizard lifted its head and probed with its tongue.
"That Jewish girl," the boy's mother said whenever she spoke of the girl in the painting. When his parents argued and his father got up to retreat to his study where the painting was hung, she would call after him, "Go pay your Jewish girl a visit!" Or she would ask, "Does the painting of that Jewish girl have to hang there? Does the boy have to sleep under the painting of that Jewish girl?" The painting hung above a couch where the boy napped at noontime, while his father read the paper.
More than once he had heard his father explain to his mother that the girl was not Jewish. That the red velvet cap she wore, pressed so firmly down into her brown curls that they almost hid it, wasn't meant to suggest her religion, wasn't a folk costume but a matter of fashion. "It's what girls wore back then. Besides, it's the Jewish men who wear caps, not the women."
The girl wore a dark red skirt, and over her bright yellow blouse was a dark yellow vest, a kind of bodice loosely laced with ribbons at the back. The rock on which the girl rested her chin and plump childish arms hid much of her clothes and body. She might have bee...