Helena Janeczek

The Girl with the Leica

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The life of a female war photographer killed in action is told by three of her friends in this biographical novel by the author of Bloody Cow.

Gerda Taro was a German-Jewish war photographer, anti-fascist activist, artist, and innovator who, together with her partner, the Hungarian Endre Friedmann, was one half of the alias Robert Capa, widely considered to be the twentieth century’s greatest war and political photographer. She was killed while documenting the Spanish Civil War and tragically became the first female photojournalist to be killed on a battlefield.

August 1, 1937, Paris. Taro’s twenty-seventh birthday, and her funeral. Friedmann leads the procession. He is devastated, but there are others, equally bereft, with him: Ruth Cerf, Taro’s old friend from Leipzig with whom she fled to Paris; Willy Chardack, ex-lover; Georg Kuritzkes, another lover and a key figure in the International Brigades. They have all known a different Gerda, and one who is at times radically at odds with the heroic anti-fascist figure being mourned by the multitudes . . .

Another character in the novel is the era itself, the 1930s, with economic depression, the rise of Nazism, hostility towards refugees in France, the century’s ideological warfare, the cultural ferment, and the ascendency of photography as the age’s quintessential art form.

Winner of the Strega Prize, The Girl with the Leica is a must-read for fans of historical fiction centered on extraordinary women’s lives.

“A biography, a feminist parable, a declaration of love for photography, and a tableau of the 1930s: The Girl with the Leica is all this at once.” —Il Sole 24 Ore (Italy)

“Janeczek creatively and seamlessly spotlights war photographer Gerda Pohorylle.” —Publishers Weekly
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    America is a nation to be part of, not a religion in which to be reborn
    But it wasn’t the taste for a game of mirrors that drove them to photograph the same subject
    Robert Capa in fact caught the desire to yield to the other without restraint, Gerda Taro a shameless joy that is sent out to conquer the world

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