About the book
Two of Germany’s literary lions, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, are the central characters of Selig Kainer’s novel, Brothers in Exile. Their rivalry is set against the background of Hitler’s rise to power, and the novel opens in 1932 as Hitler becomes Chancellor. In real danger from the Nazi, Heinrich has already fled, while Thomas briefly nurtures the hope that his stature as a Noble Prize winner could be a balancing force against Hitler. The novel then takes the reader back to the powerful sturm und drang of Thomas and Heinrich’s outwardly comfortable early family life. Their story is rife with love, rivalry, artistic strivings, and forbidden longings.
With his deep affinity for the work of these two great writers, Selig Kainer has written an intimate account of them that reveals their rivalry and innermost conflicts, and illuminates the foreboding landscape of the demonic forces unleashed in Germany during their time.
“It is a wonderful novel… One need not be a reader of either Mann brother to appreciate Brothers in Exile, for here the curious interplay between life and literature, between imagination and reality, is played out to the full.”
- Jeffery Paine, former Literary Editor of the Wilson Quarterly, a judge of the Pulitzer Prize, author of Father India, Adventures with the Buddha, and Editor of Re-enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism comes to the West.
“Selig Kainer has explored their early lives, not as an historian or biographer, but as a creative novelist, using the bones of their youth to X-ray their evolution as sons of imperial Germany, as nascent artists, and as siblings. Kainer’s intricate fictional journey is a Bildungsroman at once tender, profound, epic and original. Enjoy!”
- Nigel Hamilton, author of JFK: Reckless Youth and The Brothers Mann.
“Selig Kainer dives into the complex relationship between Thomas and Heinrich Mann and comes back up with a pearl of a book. The vivid detail he brings to his story is gripping; his obsession with his characters thoroughly contagious.”
- Andrea Weiss, author of In the Shadow of Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story.