Alex Rosenberg has a novel

August 19, 2015 • 12:15 pm

Duke philosophy professor Alex Rosenberg, best known to us for The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, an uncompromising and “strident” book about nonbelief, now has a new book: a historical novel! It’s called The Girl from Krakow, and here’s the summary from Amazon:

It’s 1935. Rita Feuerstahl comes to the university in Krakow intent on enjoying her freedom. But life has other things in store—marriage, a love affair, a child, all in the shadows of the oncoming war. When the war arrives, Rita is armed with a secret so enormous that it could cost the Allies everything, even as it gives her the will to live. She must find a way both to keep her secret and to survive amid the chaos of Europe at war. Living by her wits among the Germans as their conquests turn to defeat, she seeks a way to prevent the inevitable doom of Nazism from making her one of its last victims. Can her passion and resolve outlast the most powerful evil that Europe has ever seen?

In an epic saga that spans from Paris in the ’30s and Spain’s Civil War to Moscow, Warsaw, and the heart of Nazi Germany, The Girl from Krakow follows one woman’s battle for survival as entire nations are torn apart, never to be the same.

Although it won’t be published till Sept. 1, there are already 212 reviews on the site, I presume from the Kindle version (also supposed to be released Sept. 1). At any rate, they’re pretty good. Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 11.54.31 AMThe man is a polymath; I didn’t know he had it in him!

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 11.57.33 AMh/t: Robert B.


9 thoughts on “Alex Rosenberg has a novel

  1. “A sweeping novel encompassing 1930s Paris, the slums of Krakow, war-torn Spain, and Nazi-occupied Germany, The Girl from Krakow follows Rita Feuerstahl through good times and bad. Well researched and well imagined, the novel expands historical data into full, vivid scenes. Delicate issues and situations are faced head-on and unapologetically, a testament to Rosenberg’s abilities. Fans of historical fiction or readers looking for something new after finishing Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See (2014) will enjoy Rosenberg’s story of reinvention, self-discovery, the power of personal connections, and the kindness of strangers.” —Booklist

    Nazi-occupied WHAT?

    1. Ah, those poor Germans, wailing and sobbing in anguish as Hitler and his invading army marched triumphantly down the streets of conquered Berlin.

  2. I’ll try to find the link again, but Alex was interviewed about the book. He reveals that he started with an ambition to exemplify how narrative doesn’t convey real knowledge, but then, himself, got swept up in the narrative. The ghost of TAGTR can still be found, he says. Let’s see if we can find it.

    No wonder he was swept away. It’s inspired by the life of his mother.


  3. I came to The Atheist’s Guide to Reality from here, and I must say that I thought thoroughly disappointed. It may be my least favorite atheist related book that I have (ever?) read. And this is from someone who thoroughly believes in scientism, the lack of free will, self is an illusion and other “hard headed” atheist ideas. The book, makes several weird errors, and makes a ton when he is trying to describe subjective experience. He thinks that (like Jerry) that we feel the illusion of free will. But this does not happen to me, if I introspect I get no impression of free will. He also believes that introspection leads to us thinking that thoughts are “about” something. This is not my experience either, yet he goes from this argument to the idea that thoughts are an illusion. Essentially he uses a philosophical argument about language (of “aboutness”) to eliminative materialism. This is not the route from here to there. If eliminative materialism is true, its not based on the illusion of aboutness, that I dont even feel. Its about physics and biology.

    He also has taken up the dogma that morality is not something objective. He says “did our moral correctness cause its selection, or did its selection make it the right moral core”? As though this strange dichotomy were the deathblow to objective morality.

    Then he strangely goes on to deny history. In which case scientism is actually dead. Since science is based on a series of historical controlled anecdotes.

    Combined with these mistakes was a kind of condescending tone. But perhaps Rosenburg is better as a fiction writer?

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