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Evelyn Toynton
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The Oriental Wife

Publisher Other Press, July 19, 2011

The Oriental Wife is the story of two assimilated Jewish children from Nuremberg who flee Hitler’s Germany and struggle to put down roots elsewhere. When they meet up again in New York, they fall in love both with each other and America, believing they have found a permanent refuge. But just when it looks as though nothing bad can ever befall them again, their lives are shattered by a freakish accident and a betrayal that will reverberate in the life of their American daughter.

“In this poignant, vivid, and richly humane novel, Evelyn Toynton measures the weight of personal tragedy against the great catastrophes of twentieth century history. Through its acute portrayal of émigré lives, The Oriental Wife deepens our insight into the condition of exile, the ambiguities of Americanization, and the arbitrariness of each love and human fate.”
— Eva Hoffman, author of Appassionata

“Evelyn Toynton puts me in mind of Jean Rhys: I felt that this was not a story I was reading but a life I was living. Beautifully written, richly evocative, The Oriental Wife had me in thrall from start to finish.”
— Lynn Freed, author of The Servants’ Quarters

“Rolf and Louisa are among the lucky few to escape Hitler’s Germany, but that’s where their luck ends. This is a tender, moving novel about the cruelty of fate, the difficulty of goodness, and the gulf between the suffering of refugees and the innocence of America.”
— Carole Angier, author of The Double Bond: The Life of Primo Levi

“The Oriental Wife is a clear-eyed but tender, always intelligent, and beautifully observed group portrait of German Jews, their lives shattered by the Third Reich, painfully finding their way in England and the New World. A remarkable and virtuous achievement!”
— Louis Begley, author of Wartime Lies and Shipwreck

The Oriental Wife