'Schadenfreude' – A New Novel by Ex-University Staff Member

Posted on Wednesday 11th October 2006

A retired University of Birmingham staff member is just about to launch her first book. Gill Green, an ex-postgraduate programme administrator from the University's School of Biosciences, has written and published a novel focusing on a Jewish man from Birmingham who is swept up in the events of World War 2 in Germany.

The book, called Schadenfreude, begins in 1912, when David Klein is 16 and runs away from his Jewish home in Birmingham to seek the bright lights and opportunity of New York. Narrowly avoiding death on the Titanic, the story moves between Birmingham, New York and Breslau in the 1930s, where David meets Karin, a nightclub singer. Living through the terror of Jewish persecution, David is incarcerated in Kletschkau Prison and Karin tries to rescue him.

Gill Green, who writes under the name of Olga Swan, says, 'The book is based partly on my late father's life, who left his impoverished orthodox Jewish home in Birmingham for New York at the age of 16. I wanted to write something that brings to life the way everyone lived in the early part of the 20th century. There seems to be a real nostalgia for traditional 'page-turners' that also capture the mindset of how people thought and acted in years gone by.

Gill is already working on the sequel, 'Au Revoir Liebchen', which centres on the Resistance during war time France. Schadenfreude is published by Lulu (ISBN: 978-1-84728-566-9) and is accessed by logging on to www.lulu.com and typing in the search box: Olga Swan. It will also be available shortly through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders Bookshops.

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For further information Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.