Crossings by Alex Landragin
"A sparkling debut. Landragin’s seductive literary romp shines as a celebration of the act of storytelling." ―Publishers Weekly
"Romance, mystery, history, and magical invention dance across centuries in an impressive debut novel." ―Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Deft writing seduces the reader in a complex tale of pursuit, denial, and retribution moving from past to future. Highly recommended." ―Library Journal (Starred Review)
Alex Landragin's Crossings is an unforgettable and explosive genre-bending debut―a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning a hundred and fifty years and seven lifetimes.
On the brink of the Nazi occupation of Paris, a German-Jewish bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript called Crossings. It has three narratives, each as unlikely as the next. And the narratives can be read one of two ways: either straight through or according to an alternate chapter sequence.
The first story in Crossings is a never-before-seen ghost story by the poet Charles Baudelaire, penned for an illiterate girl. Next is a noir romance about an exiled man, modeled on Walter Benjamin, whose recurring nightmares are cured when he falls in love with a storyteller who draws him into a dangerous intrigue of rare manuscripts, police corruption, and literary societies. Finally, there are the fantastical memoirs of a woman-turned-monarch whose singular life has spanned seven generations.
With each new chapter, the stunning connections between these seemingly disparate people grow clearer and more extraordinary. Crossings is an unforgettable adventure full of love, longing and empathy.