Anansi International

The Emperor of Lies

Written by Steve Sem-Sandberg • Translated by Sarah Death

Published August 18, 2012 | ISBN 9781770890343
FICTION / Literary

Cover of The Emperor of Lies

Regular price $19.95 CAD

672 pages | 8.812 in × 5.75 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

The Emperor of Lies

Steve Sem-Sandberg • Sarah Death

Longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

In February 1940, the Nazis established what would become the second-largest Jewish ghetto in the Polish city of Lódz. Its chosen leader: Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, a sixty-three-year-old Jewish businessman and orphanage director -- and the elusive, authoritarian power sustaining the ghetto’s very existence.

From one of Sweden's most critically acclaimed and bestselling authors, The Emperor of Lies chronicles the tale of Rumkowski's monarchical rule over a quarter-million Jews for the next four years. Driven by a titanic ambition, he sought to transform the ghetto into a productive industrial complex and strove to make it --and himself -- indispensable to the Nazi regime. Drawing on the detailed records of life in the Lódz ghetto, Steve Sem-Sandberg captures the full panorama of human resilience and probes deeply into the nature of evil. He asks the most difficult questions: Was Rumkowski a ruthless opportunist, an accessory to the Nazi regime driven by a lust for power? Or was he a pragmatic strategist who managed to save Jewish lives through his collaboration policies?

Winner of the August Prize, Sweden’s most important literary award, The Emperor of Lies is a haunting, profoundly challenging novel.

About the Creators

Steve Sem-Sandberg

Steve Sem-Sandberg is an award-winning Swedish writer, critic, and translator. He is the author of twelve novels and four works of nonfiction. He has won a number of literary prizes, including the August Prize, the Aftonbladet Literary Award, and the De Nios Grand Award, and was a finalist for the prestigious Nordic Council Literary Award on two occasions. His critically acclaimed and powerful novel The Emperor of Lies has been published in more than twenty-five languages. He divides his time between Vienna and Stockholm.

Sarah Death

Sarah Death is a translator, literary scholar, and editor of the UK-based journal Swedish Book Review. She lives in England.

Awards and Praise
  • Long-listed Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, 2012
  • Commended Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, 2011
  • Long-listed IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2013