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10 books to read in October

Author: Jane Ciabattari
Newspaper: BBC Culture
Date: Sep 30 2019

Janeczek’s Strega-Prize winning novel is based on the life of a pioneering photographer. Gerda Taro, a fashionable young woman, met Andre Friedmann, the “Hungarian with the Leica”, in 1930s Paris, where she joined other German exiles fleeing the Hitler regime. Using the alias Robert Capa, the two covered the Spanish Civil War for international publications. Gerda died outside Madrid in 1937, the first woman photojournalist killed in combat, and Robert Capa went on. Janeczek structures her novel as a series of reminiscences by three of Gerda’s friends from Paris days: Dr Willy Chardack (‘the Dachsund’); Ruth Cerf, her best friend, who travels with Friedmann to retrieve Gerda’s body; and another lover, Dr Georg Kuritzkes. This mosaic of vignettes and images brings a complex courageous woman back into focus. Translated by Ann Goldstein.