photo by Gary Gartley

L. Annette Binder was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States as a small child. The Vanishing Sky, her first novel, is inspired by events from her family history.

Her father was required to serve in the Hitler Youth. Family lore has it he ran away from his post near the end of the war.

Annette's father died when she was sixteen, and writing The Vanishing Sky gave her the chance to imagine the stories he didn't get to tell her.

Annette holds a degree in Classics from Harvard, literature from Berkeley and law from Harvard Law School. She has an MFA from the Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine. Her story collection Rise (Sarabande 2012) received the Mary McCarthy Prize and her stories have appeared in the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the O. Henry Prize Anthology and Public Radio's Selected Shorts. She lives in New England with her husband and daughter.

The Vanishing Sky

288 pages, $27, hardcover

July 21, 2020 (US), June 11, 2020 (UK)

ISBN: 9781635574678

In 1945, as the war in Germany nears its violent end, the Huber family remains in its grip. Etta, a mother from a small town, struggles to kep her family together.

Etta's older son Max has come home from the front suffering from a mental breakdown. Etta strives to hide Max's condition from the authorities, even as her husband Josef becomes more nationalistic and intent on protecting Germany from invasion.

Meanwhile, miles away, Etta's gentle younger son Georg takes his fate into his own hands, deserting his young class of battle-bound soldiers to embark on a perilous journey home. 

representation -- Claudia Ballard, William Morris Endeavor, 11 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10010, 212-586-5100

publicist (US) -- Emily Fisher, Bloomsbury,; publicist (UK) -- Emilie Chambeyron, Bloomsbury UK,

Contact me directly at

Praise for The Vanishing Sky

A New York Times Book Review Summer Reading Selection

An Indie Next Pick for August 2020

"Magnificent" -- The Seattle Review

"A masterful story of war, horror and love." -- Kirkus Reviews

"A heartbreaking portrait of an ordinary family shattered by a war they didn't want" --The Times (UK)

"Achingly beautiful ... and enduringly relevant" -- 'The Advertiser (Australia)

"Eloquent, and painfully human" -- The Irish Examiner

"Gripping, powerful, and a brave narrative, unsparing in its honesty."  -- Larry Zuckerman, Historical Novels Review

"A heartrending and blazingly lucid depiction of Nazi Germany."  -- Miriam Toews, author of Women Talking

"A hugely ambitious novel whose consummate, patient artistry is moving beyond measure." -- Matthew Thomas, New York Times best-selling author of We Are Not Ourselves

"Written in purposefully even prose that is nonetheless harrowing, it’s an intimate tragedy that’s all the more powerful for refusing the ending we fervently hope for."  -- Stephanie Cross, The Daily Mail (UK)

"This is a story -- in all its rich layers -- that dazzles, breaks your heart, clutches you, and gets you back up again."  --Paul Yoon, author of Run Me To Earth

"An empathic portrayal of the human cost of war... a genuinely tragic vision" -- The Sydney Morning Herald

"Binder unfolds a harrowing tale in limpid, expressive prose." -- The Sunday Times

"Binder's debut explores familiar territory from a fresh perspective. The result is an engrossing novel peopled by believable and sympathetic characters." -- Max Davidson, The Sunday Mail (UK)