Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 7 to 12
Drawing on imaginary outtakes from Riefenstahl's infamous film of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, Dennis Bock weaves together the lives of a family living in the shadow of history.
Olympia is the story of post-war German immigrants, as told by their son Peter, born in the New World and raised in the sixties and seventies.
Though great figures and events of mid-century touch the lives of this remarkable family, it is the private histories, the grand failings and small triumphs of Peter's family that remain etched in the reader's imagination. From Ruby's struggle to rise above her leukemia and her father's love of severe weather and killing tornadoes, to the saint who witnesses a miracle at the bottom of a drowned Spanish village.
Set against the backdrop of some of the most significant Olympic moments of our times--the Nazis' stylish and sinister glorification of the Berlin Olympics and the 1972 Munich hostage-taking in which 11 Israelis were murdered--Olympia offers a bold and refreshing perspective on the tragic relationship between Germans and Jews in this century.
Bock writes with insight and clarity in a breath-taking, beautiful prose that signals the debut of a brilliant new talent.
About the author
DENNIS BOCK'S first book of stories, Olympia, won the 1998 Canadian Authors’ Association Jubilee Award, the Danuta Gleed Award for best first collection of stories by a Canadian author and the British Betty Trask Award. His first novel, The Ash Garden, was a #1 national bestseller and was shortlisted for the prestigious 2003 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Amazon.com/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Kiriyama Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Caribbean and Canada Region). It won the Japan-Canada Literary Award and the Drummer General’s Award for Fiction. Dennis Bock lives with his family in Toronto. Visit him online atwww.dennisbock.ca.