Novelist Lorrie Moore’s grandfather was a distinguished American educator who was invited by the Nazi government to visit Germany in the mid-1930s. He made the trip with his family, whose members spoke German because of their love of German culture. Moore’s novel-in-progress focuses on the experience of her father, then a nine-year-old boy, and examines the rationale behind this peculiar trip—its justifications and unexpected encounters: her father seeing Hitler in a hotel lobby; her grandparents befriending Erika Mann; her grandfather, back on the American college lecture circuit, observing the same German stranger scribbling careful notes at every venue. These memories, though not her own, provide Moore an impetus for inquiry into the nature of fiction and the lasting bonds of kinship.
11 May 23