Fugitive Pieces

Fugitive Pieces

Book - 1997
Average Rating:
Rate this:
This first novel from an award-winning poet -- a #1 best-seller in Canada -- is certain to propel her into the front ranks of our very best practitioners of contemporary fiction. It is a story of World War II as remembered and imagined by one of its survivors: a poet named Jakob Beer, traumatically orphaned as a young child and smuggled out of Poland, first to a Greek island (where he will return as an adult), and later to Toronto.  It is the story of how, over his lifetime, Jakob learns the power of language -- to destroy, to omit, to obliterate, but also to restore and to conjure, witness and tell -- as he comes to understand and experience what was lost to him and of what is possible for him to regain. Profoundly moving, brilliantly written -- as sensual and lyric as it is emotionally resonant -- Fugitive Pieces delves into the most difficult workings of the human heart and mind: the grief and healing of remembrance.  It is a first novel of astonishing achievement.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780679454397
Branch Call Number: MICH
Characteristics: 293p. 22cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 28, 2018

The Fugitive Pieces was something I read on recommendation, and, true to the phrase, I would not have picked it up based on the cover (or title). It at first appears unassuming, but it is so beautiful. I cannot stress enough that it is a book dealing with challenging, emotional subject matter and does have an intense narrative, but it is also poetry. The precision of word is enough to make me recommend it. That being said, the character-driven plots are also a highlight. They have just enough whimsy that the book feels slightly uplifting while not taking away from the heavy subject and driven-home emotion. It is blunt when it needs to be blunt. It is coy when it needs to be coy. It is really a book of artful storytelling, and I highly recommend it. @freckleface675 of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Dec 08, 2015

One of the best books that I have ever read!

Feb 06, 2015

A beautifully written book about how profoundly past generations affect future generations. Anne Michaels states thoughts so poetically, so beautifully. My new favorite book.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 07, 2014

The migrations and displacements of the 20th century are encapsulated in the story of a Jewish boy who is saved and protected from the Nazis by a Greek professor.
With tenderly evocative prose, and yet not shying away from the misery of her story, the author follows Jakob’s life as he tries to find his own reality in the face of his family’s death. He is a fugitive who pieces a new life together from the memories of his sister, his parents and the kindly man who helps him.

Oct 01, 2011

This story, about the atrocities of the Second World War, winds the lives of three central characters first through Poland, and then Greece and Toronto. A definite winner for any book club. (Nov 2000)

Jul 25, 2011

I read this book in my English class in high school. I found it incredibly deep and difficult to read but it made me fall in love with poetry. The entire book has multiple layers of symbolism. Simple beautiful.

May 07, 2011

An example of writing as art, a complete masterpiece

Feb 21, 2011

Have to read her latest novel!
This one was excellent

Jan 07, 2011

So lyrical it takes several attempts to digest...a moving character-driven novel. On the 1001 books to read list.

May 26, 2010

great writing......depressing.....renting the movie put it all in perspective......all the very best parts, happy and sad

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Feb 06, 2015

I knew I must not open my mouth. The misery of bones that must be broken in order to be set straight.

Feb 06, 2015

Sometimes we need both hands to climb out of a place. Sometimes there are steep places, where one has to walk ahead of the other. If I can't find you, I'll look deeper in myself. If I can't keep up, if you're far ahead, look back. Look back.

Feb 06, 2015

It's not a persons depth you must discover,but their ascent. Find their path from depth to ascent.

AnarchyintheLC Aug 07, 2014

When a man dies, his secrets bond like crystals, like frost on a window. His last breath obscures the glass.

Jun 01, 2008

I wanted a line in a poem to be the hollow ney of the dervish orchestra whose plaintive wail is a call to God. But all I achieved was awkward shrieking. Not even the pure shriek of a reed in the rain.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Find it at TAHQ

To Top