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Paper Kisses: A True Love Story Paperback – August 17, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Other Press; 1 edition (August 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590511816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590511817
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,447,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When the Nazis rose to power in Germany, Rudolf Kaufmann's job prospects shrank. Never mind that he was a promising scientist who had done groundbreaking work in paleontology. Never mind that, while his family roots were Jewish, he'd been baptized an evangelical Christian. Dismissed from his position at Greifswald University, he sought work in Italy, where, in the summer of 1935, he fell in love with Ingeborg Magnusson, a 28-year-old Swedish insurance company worker on holiday. Their relationship lasted five years, during which time they were together for 13 days. Their love affair blossomed in the mail: German author and stamp collector Kaiser discovered 30 of Kaufmann's letters to Inge at a Frankfurt stamp auction in 1991. His attention quickly turned to the more daunting and compelling task of figuring out who these people were, how their relationship developed and what became of it—and of them. Interweaving excerpts from their letters with information he gathered from relatives, his gem of a story provides readers with a fresh, intimate angle from which to view the devastating effects of Hitler's war on the world. B&w photos. (Aug. 22)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–From letters he found in 1991, Kaiser relates the story of Rudolf Kaufmann, a German, and Ingeborg Magnusson, the Swede he loved. The tale begins in 1935, and the course of their beautiful if tragic relationship is captured in the surviving letters he wrote to her. Their first kiss was a paper kiss: Magnusson kissed the photograph that Kaufmann sent to her before they first kissed in the flesh. They were able to visit in person only a few times as their countries and worlds fell apart. Their love affair ended with the letter Kaufmann sent saying that they should accept that the war would never let them be together. They continued writing as friends even after he married a fellow refugee in Lithuania, where he was hiding from the German invasion. The story is compelling, and the experience is similar to reading Anne Frank's Diary. Kaufmann, a Christian, was also considered Jewish, and was recognized one day by a German soldier who shot him on the spot. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions of letters and documents enhance the text.–Will Marston, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on November 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
As an American boy growing up in France, we played a board game called "Little Horses" (Petits Chevaux), sometimes called the Dada game. My parents called this game, Parcheesi, which we thought a "cheesy" monicker. In Reinhard Kaiser's PAPER KISSES, a true story of lovers from different nations parted by German state totalitarianism, Rudolf the hero plays endless games of "mensch argere dich nicht" in Coburg prison to keep busy while his sentence stretches outward and onward, and the author reveals that this game is "a traditional German board game a little like ludo, but the title means, 'Don't get annoyed!'" I hadn't realized that "parcheesi" was the US name for the British game ludo. Funny the things that cross your mind reading a homely, understated, yet ultimately tragic beyond belief book like Reinhard Kaiser's PAPER KISSES. It all began when the author bid on some stamps at a Berlin auction about 15 years ago, and the stamped envelopes, he discovered, all had the original letters inside. Sounds like a novel, doesn't it? Well fasten your seatbelts everyone, you're about to enter the tunnel of love, Third Reich style.

Anthea Bell's translation is generally speaking, a sensitive and persuasive one, getting across the subtle differences between Kaufmann's style as manifested in the letters, and Reinhard Kaiser's very close third person narration, in which he seems often to be paraphrasing directly from the correspondence, perhaps adding here and there with little bits of info he picked up from outside sources (there's a brief bibliography at the back of the book which gives an idea of how extensive Kaiser's research must have been).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By eddie ozols on August 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The authors have painstakingly researched the lives of two lovers from letters purchased at an auction. The crescendo built up in the book finds its culmination when the author knocks on the door of an apartment block in Sweden to find a relative of one of the lovers and so fulfil the story of two people whose destinies were torn apart by war
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Paper Kisses: A True Love Story
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