Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Chosen Ones

The Chosen Ones

A Novel

Steve Sem-Sandberg; Translated from the Swedish by Anna Paterson

Picador

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An absorbing, emotionally overwhelming novel, rich in incident and character, The Chosen Ones is obliquely illuminated by Sem-Sandberg’s sharp sense of the absurd.

The Am Spiegelgrund Clinic, in glittering Vienna, masqueraded as a well-intentioned reform school for wayward boys and girls and a home for chronically ill children. The reality, however, was very different: in the wake of Germany’s annexation of Austria during WWII, the clinic’s doctors, nurses, and teachers created a monstrous parody of the institution’s benign-sounding brief. The Nazi regime’s euthanasia program would come to determine the fate of many of the clinic’s inhabitants.

Through the eyes of a child inmate, Adrian Ziegler, and a nurse, Anna Katschenka, award-winning novelist Steve Sem-Sandberg explores the very meaning of survival in this profoundly moving and dramatic novel that bears witness to oppression and injustice during an intolerable period of Austria’s past.

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The Institution    They brought him to Spiegelgrund for the first time in January 1941, on a cold, clear winter’s morning when the...

Reviews

Praise for The Chosen Ones

“A chilling and deeply affecting novel . . . exploring a particularly dark corner where other novelists have feared to tread . . . The Chosen Ones may be a tough read, but it is also a powerful and important one.” —Malcolm Forbes, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Sem-Sandberg's precise, resolutely nonpoetic prose is highly effective, even in translation, and appears to be a conscious refusal of aestheticism: The brutality of the subject requires a brutal style.” —Susan Rubin Suleiman,The New York Times Book Review

“In this intensively researched historical novel, readers follow Sem-Sandberg (and his adept translator) into a nightmarish Nazi inversion of medicine . . . A harrowing chronicle.” —Booklist (starred review)

“With a gift for finding humanity in even the darkest of stories, Sem-Sandberg has written an indelible, moving novel.” Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)

“A horror novel, of a sort, in which Swedish novelist Sem-Sandberg (The Emperor of Lies, 2011) returns to the Holocaust to limn its essential inhumanity . . . There is much evil in the book, and much of it is banal indeed. Making every word count, Sem-Sandberg explores the psychologies of captive and captor, the complexities of bearing witness to things that most people would sooner forget. A memorable meditation on the human capacity to do ill—and to endure.” —Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Steve Sem-Sandberg; Translated from the Swedish by Anna Paterson

STEVE SEM-SANDBERG is a Swedish journalist, novelist, and translator. He is the award-winning author of The Emperor of Lies (FSG, 2009). He divides his time between Vienna and Stockholm.

Steve Sem-Sandberg

© Pieter ten Hoopen

Anna Paterson

From the Publisher

Picador

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