Fire Answers Fire was officially published at all major ebook retailers on May 1, 2014 and in paperback on May 1, 2017. The paperback can be ordered here at Amazon. The ebook can currently be ordered at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Inktera, Kobo, Smashwords, Scribd, Versent, and at the Apple iTunes store. You can also review it or add it to your “Want to Read” list at Goodreads.
How would you react if you came across evidence tying your grandfather to the burning of the Hindenburg in 1937?
A cryptic 75-year-old letter leads to a large trove of German-language notebooks that a well-loved upstate New York radio and television repairman left to his granddaughter, an artist and gallery owner. As these boxes of handwritten documents are translated into English, they reveal a young man, living under a different name, intimately connected with the Zeppelin. After emigrating to America for political reasons, he and his German girlfriend use their knowledge for political ends in an increasingly violent world. The notebooks also describe his run-ins with New York’s Nazi Bund leader Fritz Kuhn and his relationship with the left-wing expressionist playwright Ernst Toller, who worked with him on a dramatized version of the Hindenburg’s explosion — the lost and unproduced play “Fire Answers Fire.”
In addition to the personal relationship that develops between the narrator and the granddaughter in the present, there is an opportunity for their conversations to explore questions of political language – especially the contentious language of war and terrorism. The secrets the grandfather leaves hidden in the past — about the woman he loved and left behind in Germany and the woman he loved and married in the States — become as important as the secrets he reveals in the notebooks.
This book can be read as a straightforward historical novel about the adventures of a young expatriate German in New York City in the late 1930s, but it is also a book about memory, names, language, labels, and the hazy boundaries between fact and fiction.
Readers of this blog may use coupon code ZU54X for the special price of $2.00 on Smashwords, where the book can be ordered in any ebook format (including mobi for a Kindle).