Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient
Bloomsbury Publishing


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By Gunnar Kopperud

A powerful and lyrical meditation on war and the pity of war.

The Time of Light begins as Markus, a former German soldier, seeks atonement from an Armenian priest for his part in the Nazi invasion of Russia. Captured at the Battle of Stalingrad, Markus never returned to Germany but tried instead to work out his destiny in the country and among the people he feels he desecrated. Overcome by grief and shame, Markus turns his back on everything, including his wife and son.

Framed by the 9-day Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of 1994, 
The Time of Light is skillfully created from a series of tales that arise from Markus's conversations with the priest. It is a novel of striking contrasts, where devastating scenes are etched with an incisive lyricism that leaves the reader reeling. Clear-eyed about the savagery of war, harrowing in its evocation of emotion, powerfully imaginative in its grasp of something ineluctable in the human condition, The Time of Light is a mesmerizing novel by a prodigiously gifted new author.

Bloomsbury Publishing (1998)