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Schroder by Amity Gaige


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Shortlisted for the 2014 Folio Prize.

How can such a simple thing like changing your surname end up with a good and likeable person and father ending up in prison? Amity Gaige has written two previous books but this stunning, offbeat story of how good intentions lead to tragic consequences is her first UK published book and it looks like being one of the literary treasures of 2013.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Schroder a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'Schroder is an enigma of a book that leaves the reader thinking about it long after finishing it...This is a fantastic novel that I would recommend to all.' Scroll down to read more reviews.


Schroder by Amity Gaige

Attending a New England summer camp as an adolescent, young Erik Schroder - a first generation East German immigrant - adopts a new name and a new persona - Eric Kennedy - in the hopes that it will help him fit in. This fateful white lie will set him on an improbable and ultimately tragic course. "Schroder" relates the story of Eric's urgent escape years later through the New England countryside with his six-year-old daughter, Meadow, in an attempt to outrun the authorities amidst a heated custody battle with his wife, who will soon discover that her husband is not who he says he is.

From a correctional facility, Eric surveys the course of his life in order to understand - and maybe even explain - his behaviour; the painful separation from his mother in childhood; a harrowing escape to America with his taciturn father; a romance that withered under a shadow of lies; and his proudest moments and greatest regrets as a flawed but loving father.


We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review Schroder. You can read their reviews below.

Linda Birt - I highly recommend this book , beautifully written and well plotted...As a reader I cared about what would happen to Eric and his family, this book opens up discussions about relationships and how well we really know those we love.'Click here to read the full review.

Becca Golby - 'This is a hauntingly powerful read...This book takes risks with exploring the dark subject matter of child abduction, and skilfully allows us to form a strong connection with Erik...Truly an addictive read.' Click here to read the full review.

Megan Olwen Williams -
'Schroder is a novel that touches such emotional depths it can’t be forgotten easily...Amity Gaige has masterfully plundered the darkest depths of humanity and made it not just palatable but unnervingly enjoyable to read. This tale will haunt me for a long time.' Click here to read the full review.

Louise Woods -
'A very unusual and intriguing read...This would make an excellent reading group book. After reading it I immediately wanted to discuss it with someone.' Click here to read the full review.

Reba Khatun -
'I found Schroder an interesting read as the first chapter grabbed my attention but then it took a few more chapters to get into...Once the action started it was hard to put down.' Click here to read the full review.

Jane Pepler - 'Schroder is an enigma of a book that leaves the reader thinking about it long after finishing it...This is a fantastic novel that I would recommend to all.' Click here to read the full review.

Mel Graham - 'a poignant yet beautifully told tale of love, family, loss, heartbreak...Eric Shroder's voice has stayed with me, and any book that has such a memorable narrative character is absolutely worth reading.' Click here to read the full review.

Julie Bertschin - This is a tenderly written story about how desperately we desire to hold on to those that we love, especially when things are going wrong in our lives and how painful it is to deal with separation. A very touching novel.' Click here to read the full review.

Francesca Ashurst - 'Schroder is a powerful, complex and disturbing novel which explores questions of identity, grief, truth and madness...This is a moving and haunting novel.' Click here to read the full review.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett - I thoroughly loved this brilliantly and beautifully written novel, which would make perfect for any book club.' Click here to read the full review.

Edel Waugh - This was a really interesting book about the break down of a marriage and the custody battle for their child... Often emotional and very touching.' Click here to read the full review.

Ray Orgill - 'A rather sad book with some wonderfully descriptive writing. An absorbing read.' Click here to read the full review.

Author Praise for Schroder:

‘The measure of Gaige’s great gifts as a storyteller is that she persuades you to believe in a situation that shouldn’t be believable, and to love a narrator who shouldn’t be lovable. Seldom has such a daring concept for a novel been grounded in such an appealing character.’ Jonathan Franzen

‘In Schroder, Amity Gaige explores the rich, murky realm where parental devotion edges into mania, and logic crabwalks into crime. This offbeat, exquisitely written novel showcases a fresh, forceful young voice in American letters.’ Jennifer Egan

‘You will not want to put this book down. You will want to read it in one big gulp. This is a bullet of a novel, aimed at our pieties about parenthood and familial love. You won’t soon forget Schroder or his daughter or the sentences that bring them to life. To those who know Gaige’s first two novels, it’s no surprise she’s produced another stunner. To those who don’t, you’re in for a treat.’ Adam Haslett

‘Amity Gaige has written a flawless book. It does not contain a single false note. Playful and inventive, Schroder movingly depicts the ways we confound our own hearts - how even with the best intentions, we fail to love those closest to us as well as we wish we could. Eric Schroder should take his place among the most charismatic and memorable characters in contemporary fiction, and Amity Gaige her place among the most talented and impressive writers working today.’ David Bezmozgis

About the Author

Amity Gaige

Amity Gaige is the author of O My Darling and The Folded World. Her essays, articles and stories have appeared in various publications including the Yale Review, The Literary Review, Los Angeles Times and O Magazine. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a McDowell Colony Fellowship, and a Baltic Writing Residency Fellowship, and is currently the Visiting Writer at Amherst College. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family.

Author photo © Anita Licis-Ribak

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Book Info

Publication date

7th March 2013


Amity Gaige

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Faber and Faber


288 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Family Drama
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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