Wartime Lies

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What to expect

As the world slips into the throes of war in 1939, nine-year-old Maciek’s once closeted existence outside Warsaw is no more. When Warsaw falls, the orphaned Maciek escapes with his sharp-tongued aunt Tania. Posing as Catholic Poles to hide their Jewish identity, they endure the war together—running, hiding, changing their names, forging documents to secure their temporary lives—as the insistent drum of the Nazi march moves ever closer to them and to their secret wartime lies.

This exquisite, acclaimed novel of the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of a young Polish boy was chosen by the New York Times as one of the Ten Best Books of the Year, nominated for the National Book Award, and won the 1991 Irish Times–Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize.

Critics Review

  • “Extraordinary…Rich in irony and regret…[the] people and settings are vividly realized and his prose [is] compelling in its simplicity.”

    Wall Street Journal
  • “[A] searing story of the quest for an authentic self in an insane world.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “A moving addition to Holocaust literature and one well recommended.”

    Library Journal
  • “[Written] In a stark style reminiscent of Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird.”


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