Karl Manders

  • Moths

  • From rural Holland in World War II to the Soviet labour camps by way of a curious jazz band in Minsk and Moscow, Moths tells the parallel stories of a father and son who live through interesting times.

    A self-indulgent Dutch businessman finds himself caught up in the liberation of Auschwitz by the Russian army, and playing piano for an unusual band at a time when jazz is a risky business in Stalinist Russia... Meanwhile, the boy, who has barely known his father, is brought up by his doting, childless aunt in the flat farmlands of east Holland. One day he comes upon an old moated castle full of moths, and meets the curious young girl who breeds and keeps the creatures captive there.

    As the fifties come to an end, their parallel tracks converge in a powerful dénoument. Vivid, magical, heartbreaking and with astonishing range and layers of meaning, Moths is a gripping and beautiful literary debut.

Karl Manders worked for forty years as a journalist. He was a member of the Guardian Features Department for five years, and subsequently contributed to the paper for some years. For three years he was News Editor of Nature, and for a similar period Deputy Features Editor of The Telegraph Magazine. He has worked intermittently for The Sunday Times and contributed freelance features to New Scientist, Scientific American, Radio Times, and Reader's Digest. He moved to North America where he edited photographic arts titles, before returning to Europe, and particularly the Netherlands where he learned Dutch. He is married and lives in Suffolk.

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