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A gripping and emotionally resonant saga that traces the lives of five generations of resilient women from the late nineteenth century to the dawn of the twenty-first.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century in East Prussia, a woman named Kazimira strolls the remote shores of the Baltic Sea, bringing home bits of amber that wash up on the beach. Her husband Antas is the region’s best carver, and he catches the attention of Moritz Hirschberg, owner of a nearby amber factory. Antas rises through the ranks, but Kazimira has the best ideas for processing and cutting the stones. Although establishing a new mine on such shifting terrain is hazardous, the venture finally pays off. It brings success, but envy and resentment swiftly follow, as antisemitism and nationalism sweep across the German Empire. Kazimira soon learns she must go her own way, as the Hirshbergs are expelled and World War I shatters her son. Three decades later, at the end of World War II, she becomes the last witness of German war crimes committed on West Beach, formerly a place of prosperity and progress.

At the dawn of the twenty-first century in Russia, a woman named Nadia operates an excavator in a massive open-pit amber mine until she is told to go sell trinkets alongside all the other shopgirls. In alternating passages weaving together vastly different eras across the span of a century and a half, Svenja Leiber’s Kazimira tells the story of the largest amber-mining operation in history, and its lasting effects expose pressing questions: Where do hatred and violence come from? What happens when life is declared worthless? Beginning with Kazimira and her bold struggle for self-determination, this saga follows five generations of women who envision an alternative world.

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Seagull Books London Ltd
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