Haley Tanner‘s debut novel, “Vaclav and Lena,” is now available. She will be blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning‘s Author Blog. Her blog posts are being featured this week on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:
Haley Tanner’s debut novel, “Vaclav & Lena” (Dial Press), is about love without questions, hesitation or limits. This love flourishes between two Russian-Jewish immigrant children in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn: Vaclav dreams of becoming a magician, like Houdini, and casting the fragile Lena as his assistant. Tragedy temporarily unhinges this plan, and when the two children become teenagers, they are forced to reconcile their pasts and decide how they’ll embark on a future together. Tanner intimately knows the love and struggle that Vaclav and Lena share: She wrote this book while living with the man who would become her husband and, soon after, die of melanoma. Tanner says that the loveliness and lightness in the novel is his. She spoke recently with the Forward.