“An astounding collection of intricate and rigorous character studies. The Iron Bridge bravely takes us deep into the nuanced, damaged psyches of men we would prefer to think of as monsters. Thrilling, brazen, brilliant and deeply felt. The most compelling stories I’ve read in years.”
-Sarah Polley, writer and director of Away from Her
In a bold, brilliant collection of stories, Dora Award-winning playwright Anton Piatigorsky delivers a superbly inspired inquiry into the early lives of the 20th century’s most notorious tyrants. In The Iron Bridge, he is unafraid to push at the boundaries of the unexpected as he breathes fictionalized life into the adolescents who would grow up to become the most brutal dictators the world has ever known.
We discover a teenaged Mao Tse-Tung refusing an arranged marriage; Idi Amin cooking for the British Army; Stalin living in a seminary; and a melodramatic young Adolf Hitler dreaming of vast architectural achievements. Piatigorsky dazzlingly explores moments that are nothing more than vague incidents in the biographies of these men, expanding mere footnotes into entire realities as he ingeniously fills the gaps in the historical record. The Iron Bridge, completely imagined yet captivatingly real, captures those crucial instants in time that may well have helped to deliver some of the most infamous leaders in history.
“I found The Iron Bridge to be an absolutely thrilling read. All six stories vibrate with rich detail and a kinetic narrative. But what makes this book truly special is Anton Piatigorksy’s ability to harness and exploit the reader’s pre-existing knowledge of, and chilling fascination with, his terrifying protagonists.”
-Albert Schultz, artistic director, Soulpepper Theatre
“With an invigorating mix of classic storytelling and inventiveness, Anton Piatigorsky’s pitch-perfect, acutely attuned stories delve deep, and far, and wide. The Iron Bridge is an assured, unique collection, and a seamless transition to fiction from one of our best playwrights.”
-Pasha Malla, author of People Park
“Piatigorsky solves historical fiction’s dilemmas with enviable skill and originality”
Goose Lane Editions, Canada, World English, September 2012
Steerforth Press, US, July 2013
Runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award