Fort Greene

New historical novel reads like thriller

Author To Speak in Brooklyn

January 7, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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New York-based author Michele Zackheim this week published her latest novel, “Last Train to Paris” (Europa Editions), and will be celebrating in Brooklyn with a reading on Jan. 9 at Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene.

“Last Train to Paris” takes place on the eve of the Second World War and follows Rose, a half-Jewish American reporter in Paris who is forced to grapple with her hidden identity as a Jew. The sole woman in the newsroom, Rose faces both sexism and anti-Semitism. Then she meets Leon, a German-Jewish radical and anti-Nazi, and realizes that while Paris is interesting, the truly vital historical story is taking place across the border.

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Rose undertakes an assignment in the Berlin press office, where she is initially happy and in love until Kristallnacht and the growing threat of Nazism.

When World War II is declared, Americans are forced to leave the country and Rose must make an agonizing choice: Who will go with her on the last train to Paris?

“Last Train to Paris” is a carefully researched historical novel that reads like a suspense thriller.

Zackheim tells the story from the vantage point of Rose as an elderly woman. The novel is at once a historical epic, a love story and a psychological portrait of one woman’s gradual discovery of who she really is after years of being invisible to herself.   

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The Jan. 9 reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. Greenlight is located at 686 Fulton St. in Fort Greene. On the same day, Zackheim will be a guest on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate show. Her segment is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

Michelle Zachkheim is the author of four books.  Born in Reno, Nevada, she grew up in Compton, California.  For many years she worked in the visual arts as a fresco muralist, an installation artist, print-maker and a painter. Her work has been widely exhibited and is included in the permanent collections of The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. She teaches Writing from a Visual Perspective at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her first book, “Violette’s Embrace,” was published by Riverhead Books and is a fictional biography of the French writer Violette Leduc. Her second book, the acclaimed “Einstein’s Daughter: The Search for Lieserl” (Penguin Putnam, 1999), is a non-fiction account of the mystery of the lost illegitimate daughter of Mileva and Albert Einstein. “Broken Colors” (Europa Editions, 2007) is the story of an artist whose life takes her to a place where life and art intersect.

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