New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2016
Charles Boyer, an English and humanities professor at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Mass., has written a stunning and memorable debut novel, which has won the AWP Prize for the Novel from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. History’s Child traces the lives of people forever shaken by World War II and its aftermath, including the Gradinskis, especially Tadek, who grew up in the shadow of the war. As the Soviets are replaced by the Nazis as occupiers in Poland, more and more changes come to the sleepy little village of Liaski. Tadek’s life, a balance of simple pleasures tainted by the constant presence of invaders, is irrevocably changed when he becomes a spy for the partisan movement. When he is captured and sent to the Gulag, the tale becomes one of survival and perseverance in the darkest of times. In this gripping story, Boyer recounts the finer points of history through intimate portraits of human love and suffering.