Knauss, Sibylle 1944-
KNAUSS, Sibylle 1944-
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Random House, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
Ach Elise, oder, Lieben ist ein Einsames Geschäft, Hoffmann und Campe (Hamburg, Germany), 1981.
Das Herrenzimmer, Hoffmann und Campe (Hamburg, Germany), 1983.
Erlkönigs Töchter, Hoffmann und Campe (Hamburg, Germany), 1985.
Charlotte Corday, Hoffmann und Campe (Hamburg, Germany), 1988.
Ungebetene Gäste, Hoffmann und Campe (Hamburg, Germany), 1991.
Die Nacht mit Paul, Hoffmann und Campe (Hamburg, Germany), 1994.
Die Missionarin, Hoffmann und Campe (Hamburg, Germany), 1997.
Evas Cousine, Claassen (Munich, Germany), 2000, translationd by Anthea Bell published as Eva's Cousin, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Füsse im Feuer, Claassen (Munich, Germany), 2003.
A German novelist, Sibylle Knauss has written well-received novels that focus on the lives of German missionaries in the East Indies and French Revolutionaries. To English-speaking readers she is primarily known as the author of Eva's Cousin. Based on Eva Braun's real-life cousin, Gertrude Weisker, who was interviewed by the author after fifty years of silence, the novel tells the story of Marlene, a young woman summoned to the Berghof, Hitler's mountain retreat, to entertain a bored and lonely Eva while Hitler is away in Berlin. For a while the two lead a fairly idyllic life, cut off from the horrors of the war and the Nazi monstrosities at home, though Eva continues to pine for her absent lover. Eventually Eva leaves to join Hitler, and Marlene finds herself torn between love for an S.S. officer and her desire to protect a Ukrainian refugee from a slave camp who has found his way to her cabin retreat. At last, the world intrudes, and Marlene finds herself fleeing the burning grounds of the Berghof as the war closes in; Eva herself commits suicide alongside Hitler in Berlin.
Library Journal contributor Barbara Conaty wrote that Knauss "has transformed the banal facts of a light friendship between two cousins into a novel 'for readers who know and respect the mystery of fiction.'" "The result is a strange, moving and disturbing book.…But it is impossible to know where the fiction starts," noted New York Times Book Review contributor Alan Riding. Whether fiction or biography, the story struck a chord with many reviewers. "When Knauss implies that Marlene's experience can explain mass support for the Nazi regime, the moral center of the book falters, but her sparely poetic and intense portrait of a young girl caught between her own ethical code and the promise of power is unrelentingly powerful," concluded a Publishers Weekly contributor.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, September 15, 2002, Barbara Conaty, review of Eva's Cousin, p. 92.
New York Times Book Review, September 1, 2002, Alan Riding, "The Marriage of Eva Braun: The Prequel," p. 5.
Publishers Weekly, July 1, 2002, review of Eva's Cousin, p. 51.
Romantic Times,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (October 28, 2003), Sheri Melnick, review of Eva's Cousin. *