Evelyn Juers’ collective biography House of Exile: The Life and Times of Heinrich Mann and Nelly Kroeger-Mann won the 2009 Prime Minister’s Award for Non Fiction, and has been published in the US, UK, France, Spain and Italy.
154 pages Paperback, 17 x 15 cm Published May 2012 ISBN 9781920882884
The Recluse is the story of Juers’ quest to find the elusive Eliza Donnithorne, thought to have been the model for the character of Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, who was jilted at the altar, and became a recluse, wearing her wedding dress, and keeping her wedding banquet set, until the day she died. But did it really happen like this? The Recluse is a lace-work rich in connections and associations, at the heart of which Juers’ subject remains, irretrievable and dignified, an assertion of the value of the solitary life.
352 pages Paperback, 23.5 x 15.5 cm Published October 2008 ISBN 9781920882440
In 1933 the author and activist Heinrich Mann and his partner Nelly Kroeger fled Nazi Germany, finding refuge first in the south of France and later, in great despair, in Los Angeles, where Nelly committed suicide in 1944 and Heinrich died in 1950.
Born into a wealthy middle class family in Lübeck, Heinrich was one of the leading representatives of Weimar culture; Nelly was twenty seven years younger, the adopted daughter of a fisherman, and a hostess in a Berlin bar. As far as his family was concerned, she was from the wrong side of the tracks.
Their story is crossed by others from their circle, including Heinrich’s brother Thomas Mann, his sister Carla, their friends Bertolt Brecht, Alfred Döblin, and Joseph Roth,and beyond them, the writers Egon Kisch, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Virginia Woolf and Nettie Palmer.
In train compartments, ship’s cabins and rented rooms, they called upon what was left to them — their bodies, their minds, their books — and amidst the debris of an era of self-destruction, built their own annexes to the House of Exile.