Books Inc Berkeley proudly welcomes local author Linda Joy Myers to the shop for a celebration of her book The Forger of Marseille!
It's 1939, and all across Europe the Nazis are coming for Jews and anti-fascists. The only way to avoid being imprisoned or murdered is to assume a new identity. For that, people are desperate for papers. And for that, the underground needs forgers.
In Paris, Sarah, a young Jewish artist originally from Berlin, along with her music teacher and father figure, Mr. Lieb, meet Cesar, a Spanish
Republican who knows well the brutality of fleeing fascism. He soon recognizes Sarah's gift. She will become the underground's new forger.
When the war reaches Paris, the trio joins thousands of other refugees in a chaotic exodus south. In Marseille, they're received by friends, but they're also now part of a resistance the government is actively hunting. Sarah, now Simone, continues her forgery work in the shadows, expertly creating false papers that will mean the difference between life and a horrifying death for many. When Mr. Lieb is arrested and imprisoned in Les Milles internment camp, Simone, Cesar, and their friends vow to rescue him, enlisting the help of American journalist Varian Fry, known for plotting the escapes of high- profile people like Andre Breton and Marc Chagall. In this enlightening and thrilling story of war, love, and courage, author Linda Joy Myers explores identity, ingenuity, and the power of art to save lives.
2023 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist in Historical Fiction (1900s)
"Myers movingly conveys the traumas faced by her Jewish characters who flee Nazi Germany only to find themselves caught up in the turmoil of the 1940 Paris exodus and the early months of the occupation of France. Their involvement in Marseille's growing resistance movement highlights the crucial work of Varian Fry and Donald Caskie, who aided the escape of countless individuals pursued by the authorities. In this gripping story of a tumultuous period of history, Myers offers us a vivid and compelling read."
--Hanna Diamond, author of Fleeing Hitler and professor of French History at Cardiff University
" The Forger of Marseille transports you to interwar Europe, where you experience warmth, wine, and song in the cafés of Paris and also discover skills the forger must master to rescue Europe's victims. In her historical novel, Myers reveals important figures such as Varian Fry, who saved thousands, and points an accusing finger at France as it capitulates to occupation and betrays its citizens. A lesson for nations of today and a call for peace through art."
--Judith Berlowitz, author of Home So Far Away
"In this carefully researched and crafted novel, The Forger of Marseille, Linda Joy Myers tells the story of resistance by those who risked their lives to save others--one of the few bright spots in the Holocaust. While accurately portraying what went on in France in 1940, Myers weaves elements of love, tension, art, music, and the gradual unfolding of her characters as they begin to trust one another. Myers draws the reader in with her descriptive prose and insight into what individuals endured during that horrific time."
--Merle R. Saferstein, former Director of Educational Outreach, Holocaust Documentation & Education Center, South Florida
" The Forger of Marseille is a historical gem! Myers delivers an absolute page-turner with just the right amount of suspense and laced with a gripping love story. The historical detail, pitch-perfect prose, and realistic dialogue makes this one unputdownable. You'll be thinking about these characters long after the last page is finished. Highly recommend!"
--Michelle Cox, author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series
"This well-paced story of an artist-turned-forger in WWII-era France weaves fictional characters with real-life people in a novel of gripping authenticity."
--Barbara Stark Nemon, author of Even in Darkness and Hard Cider
Linda Joy Myers has always been deliciously haunted by the power of the past to affect people in the stream of time. She has integrated her passion for history and her own struggles with intergenerational trauma into her work as a therapist and writer. The power of the truth to educate current generations about the past led Linda Joy to explore the little-known history of WWII in the weeks following the fall of France--which in turn led her to write The Forger of Marseille. She is the author of two memoirs, Don't Call Me Mother and Song of the Plains, and four books on memoir writing. She's also the founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers. You can learn more about Linda Joy's work at www.namw.org and www.lindajoymyersauthor.com. She lives in Berkeley, CA.