Far to Go
Written by Alison Pick
Publication Date August 28, 2010
Winner of the Helen and Stan Vine Jewish Book Award and finalist for the Man Booker Prize
In Far to Go, one of our most accomplished young writers takes us inside the world of an affluent Jewish family in Prague during the lead-up to Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia.
In 1939, Pavel and Anneliese Bauer are secular Jews whose lives are turned upside down by the arrival of Hitler. They are unable to leave the country in time to avoid deportation, but they do manage to get their six-year-old son Pepik a place on a Kindertransport. Meanwhile, a fascinating and compelling present-day strand in the story slowly reveals the unexpected fates of each of the Bauers. Through a series of surprising twists, Pick leads us to ask: What does it mean to cling to identity in the face of persecution? And what are the consequences if you attempt to change your identity?
Inspired by the harrowing five-year journey Alison Pick's own grandparents embarked upon from their native Czechoslovakia to Canada during the Second World War, Far to Go is an epic historical novel that traces one family's journey through these tumultuous and traumatic events. A layered, beautifully written, moving, and suspenseful story by one of our rising literary stars.
Alison Pick was the 2002 Bronwen Wallace Award winner for the most promising writer under thirty-five in Canada. She has published two acclaimed volumes of poetry, and her writing has appeared widely in magazines, including The Walrus, enRoute, and Toronto Life. Her 2005 novel, The Sweet Edge, was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book and was optioned for film. Currently on faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts Wired Writing Studio, Alison Pick lives in Toronto with her family.
"...Alison Pick has crafted a powerful story...Far To Go demonstrates the devastation of war - and the effects it has on the children who grow up through it - without going anywhere near a battlefield." Guelph Mercury
"Far to Go is a worthwhile and accomplished, if not flawless, novel." The Bull Calf
"...the Holocaust persists in the literary imagination and through the refining fire of fiction a new generation confronts its own version of what it means to be human." National Post
"Far To Go puts a new spin on moral compromise...shows terrific craft and emotional intelligence. A winner." NOW Magazine
"Pick has a knack for narrative and an ear for the authentic...a beautiful, haunting story." Women's Post
"...a page-turner..." Toronto Star
". . . [a] spare, powerful novel . . . it is bewildered six-year-old Pepik, and his harrowing journey, that encapsulates the loss and hope and heartbreak that is the life-blood of this extraordinary story." Daily Mail
". . . authentic . . . Pick's writing is so gripping . . ." Jewish Chronicle
"Far to Go is a breath-taking, heart-breaking novel, and Alison Pick is a beautiful writer." Fernie Fix
"A heart-rending story about a decision that shapes the lives of both those on the train to freedom and those left behind." Chatelaine