About Hannah Brown
Born in Hastings County, Hannah currently lives in the Beach neighborhood of Toronto. She is a prize-winning screenwriter with two degrees in film from York University. After a happy sojourn teaching English and film at the college and collegiate levels, she returned to writing full-time, and her work has appeared in several literary magazines. “The Happiness” was (parenthetical) magazine’s 2016 Journey Prize entry and her short story in Superstition Review #15, “On Any Windy Day” is recommended by Emily Wilson, along with the Broadway hit, Hamilton, as a fine companion work to Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey. Brown has been invited to read at the Leeds International Festival 2020 from her debut novel, Look After Her.
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From the publisher:
Upon the death of their art-loving parents, thirteen and fourteen year old Jewish sisters are kidnapped by a family friend and taken to a brothel. There they are held captive by their shared shame and by the younger sister’s forced addiction to morphine. Love and psychodrama give them the courage to finally escape Vienna. Once in England, however, Hedy discovers her younger sister Susannah longs to be independent— and in Italy. But in 1938, despite the safety they each have found among the privileged, they return to Vienna just before Hitler arrives, putting their own lives and those of two children in danger. With the background of anti-Semitism and exploitation, of sex and love and art and dramatic ruses, all during the terrifying rise of fascism in Austria and Italy, Look After Her reveals this truth: no matter how close we are to another human being, even a beloved sister, that’s what we are: close— we all have our own secrets to keep.
“Here is a voice poignant and alive, offering unusual insights in scintillating dialogue. To leave the last page of this work is to re-enter the world you thought you always knew but which you now recognize anew in Hedy and Susannah. Make no mistake: this is because you have been guided by an author whose rare gift is that of surprise, a manner of holding the reader in generative uncertainty.”Canisia Lubrin, author of Voodoo Hypothesis
“Hannah Brown’s debut novel, Look After Her brings sex, sisters, and psychodrama to a story that will leave you haunted.”Jess Taylor, author of Just Pervs
“An ambitious and accomplished debut novel, Look After Her follows sisters Hedy and Susannah as they liberate themselves and build new lives against the backdrop of a world marching inexorably to war. Superbly well-paced, the novel evokes a sense of time and place so strong you can taste the Viennese chocolat mit schlag and the Italian espresso, and feel a chilly London winter in your bones.”Terri Favro, author of Once Upon a Time in West Toronto