Tubach’s Latest Novel is Multi-Layered with Comedy and Suspense

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(Herlinde Spahr, Photographer)
Long-time Orinda resident, Sally Tubach, is author of her newest novel, The Grande Dame and Hitler’s Twin: A Comedy of Errors, which was recently published by Wipf & Stock in Eugene, Oregon.

    Orinda resident Sally Patterson Tubach had her second novel published last year, this one titled The Grande Dame and Hitler’s Twin: A Comedy of Errors. So far, she has garnered rave reviews from readers from across the globe.
    “A splendid world opened up in this story. I felt completely drawn into a vortex, not of hate and destruction, but a fire of love and transformation. What an artistic creation! The magic wand held up at the end is superb, a surprise. The reader can find great originality, thoughtfulness and allegory in this book,” wrote Trudi Frei, of USA/Switzerland, paired with her five-star review on Amazon.com.
    Tubach said the inspiration for this book came from learning about the Holocaust back in high school.
    “I wondered how a culture that produced a Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and enlightened writers such as Lessing, Schiller and Goethe, could also produce an Adolf Hitler, World War II and the Holocaust,” said Tubach, who studied German at UCLA, in Göttingen and Munich and later earned a Ph.D. in German Literature at UC Berkeley.
    Born in Santa Monica, raised in Potrero Canyon in Pacific Palisades, Tubach said she’s lived in Orinda since 1976, “when I married my husband and became stepmother to his two children whose mother had died.”
    Semi-retired, Tubach is a part-time freelance writer. Her husband Frederic Tubach is a retired UC Berkeley professor. Together, they have lived abroad and traveled frequently over the years.
    Tubach hoped The Grande and Dame Hitler’s Twin: A Comedy of Errors, published Oct. 19, 2020, during the pandemic, would offer a healthy, mental break for readers.
    “It is a comedy of errors, so I hope that my cast of quirky characters and their comic missteps and misunderstandings will amuse and make readers laugh,” she said. “Some readers have said it provided a welcome diversion from the anxieties of the pandemic and the troubled state of the world. But beyond escapism, and since I come down on the side of ‘nurture’ in the ‘nurture verses nature’ debate, I hope that readers will challenge their assumptions about the genetic determination of human behavior and about identity politics.”
    Tubach addresses the cognitive dissonance some readers might experience in seeing the words “Hitler’s Twin” and “Comedy” in the same title sentence.
    “One of the women in my Berkeley writers critique group outright objected to that juxtaposition while I was still writing the story,” said Tubach. “I answered this objection by saying that since I had to use a singular trick of science fiction to bring Hitler’s twin into existence in our times and in a San Francisco setting, the novel is a mixed genre that is part fantastical tale – almost a modern fairy tale or speculative tale.”
    Research for her novel, she said, required collaborations on two books concerned with WWII and the Holocaust. Travel factored into her research as well.
    “Extended stays in Germany – and France, where we owned a vacation house in the Languedoc and I have Hitler’s twin raised – provided the requisite background to tackle this story that takes place primarily in San Francisco but incorporates numerous side trips to Europe,” she said.
    Not your typical writer who adheres to strict and disciplined writing routines, “probably because of our busy, stimulating home life and travels,” Tubach said when she finds time to write, it’s at her home office computer.
    “I usually begin by standing at the computer for a couple of hours and later sitting on a sofa with my laptop on my lap,” she said. “Late afternoon is my best time. Most days I produce more words writing emails than in my creative writing!”
    Ultimately, Tubach has high hopes her book will enlighten others.
    “I hope readers will be moved by a variety of elements, such as its poignant and sensitive look at aging, its sprinkling of magical realism, its satirical look at commercialism in art and literature, its suspense and the complexity of the plot,” she said. “I also hope it encourages thoughtful awareness about the emerging, anti-democratic and authoritarian tendencies in our domestic and global politics.”
    Her book is available at Amazon.com and on the publisher’s (Wipf and Stock) website. It can also be ordered at any bookstore including Orinda Books.

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