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The Jump Artist

By Deborah Paris, Shaker Heights, Ohio / June 17, 2009

I'm reading The Jump Artist by Austin Ratner.  A unique piece of historical fiction about an untold story of a famous American photographer, Phillipe Halsman - it is the story of a personal metamorphosis from despair to success set against the backdrop of the beginnings of Nazism in Austria.  I picked it up because I've read the author's short stories (Missouri Review fiction prize etc.) and then couldn't put it down.  It is unique in the realm of historical fiction – beautifully written and meticulously structured so that the personal psychology of the protagonist  parallels external real historical events and a forbidding natural landscape.  Discover a new talent.  I did.

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