The Hollow Bones by Leah Kaminsky

1. First lines. 2. Publisher: Penguin. 3. Hoopoe bird via Pixabay 4. Tibet expedition photograph by Ernst Schafer Bundesarchive Licence [CC-BY-SA] via wikimediea
The way the author portrayed the characters, who were based on real-life people, didn’t strike a chord with me.

This book is based on the life of Ernst Schafer, a German explorer and zoologist, whose scientific expeditions to Tibet in the 1930s were supported by members of the German Reich, the purpose being to collect specimens of Tibetan wildlife. Some believed that the origins of the Arian race would be found in Tibet.

  • The Saturday Paper: “Kaminsky’s prose has a strong lyrical bent. It is beautifully crafted and there is an imaginative abundance of metaphors, many of which centre on birds – the title refers to the characteristic of birds that enables them to fly. Yet the end result is to impart a somewhat fey quality to Herta and an atmosphere of melodrama to the narrative as a whole.”
  • The Sydney Morning Herald: “Leah Kaminsky’s excellently researched novel, based on a true story and casting a new light on the full-blown madness of the Germans of that era, came as a jolt.”

Author’s website: Leah Kaminsky

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