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The Thief of Auschwitz

“The camp at Auschwitz took one year of my life, and of my own free will I gave it another four.”

So begins the much-anticipated new novel from Jon Clinch, award-winning author of Finn and Kings of the Earth.

For the first time, Jon Clinch steps beyond the deeply American roots of his earlier books and explores one of the darkest moments in mankind’s history—with the sympathy, vision, and heart that are the hallmarks of his work.

Told in two intertwining narratives, The Thief of Auschwitz takes readers on a dual journey: one into the death camp at Auschwitz with Jacob, Eidel, Max, and Lydia Rosen; the other into the heart of Max himself, now an aged but extremely vital—and outspoken—survivor. Max is a world-renowned painter, and he’s about to be honored with a retrospective at the National Gallery in Washington.

The truth, though, is that he’s been keeping a crucial secret from the art world—indeed from the world at large, and perhaps even from himself—all his life long.

The Thief of Auschwitz reveals that secret, along with others that lie in the heart of a family that’s called upon to endure—together and separately—the unendurable.

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JON CLINCH was born and raised in the remote heart of upstate New York. He has been an English teacher, a metalworker, a folksinger, an illustrator, a typeface designer, a housepainter, a copywriter, and an advertising executive. His first novel, Finn—the secret history of Huckleberry Finn’s father—was named an American Library Association Notable Book and was chosen as one of the year's best books by the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Christian Science Monitor. It won the Philadelphia Athenaeum Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Sargent First Novel Prize. His second novel, Kings of the Earth—a powerful tale of life, death, and family in rural America, based on a true story—was named a best book of the year by the Washington Post and led the 2010 Summer Reading List at O, The Oprah Magazine. Jon has lectured and taught widely, in settings as varied as the National Council of Teachers of English, Williams College, the Mark Twain House and Museum, and Pennsylvania State University. In 2008 he organized a benefit reading for the financially-ailing Twain House—enlisting such authors as Tom Perrotta and Stewart O’Nan—an event that literally saved the house from bankruptcy. Jon lives with his wife, Wendy—founder of TheSkiDiva.com, the internet's premier site for women who ski—in the Green Mountains of Vermont.