Markus Zusak(马克斯·苏萨克),1975年出生于悉尼,30岁时已成为当代澳大利亚文学界获奖最多、著作最丰、读者群最广的作家。迄今已出版:《输家》(The Underdog)、《与鲁本·乌尔夫战斗》(The Fighting Ruben Wolfe,美国图书馆协会青少年类最佳图书)、《得到那女孩》(Getting the Girl)、《报信者》(I Am the Messenger,澳大利亚儿童图书协会年度最佳图书奖)。《偷书贼》的故事源自他幼年时父母讲述的情节,第二次世界大战时他的父母曾经亲眼目睹盟军轰炸汉堡之后的惨状,也看过纳粹押解犹太人前往死亡集中营的悲剧。苏萨克说,父母讲述的情景他一直记在心里,他知道自己总有一天会把这些故事写成书。
Part 7 The Complete Duden Dictionary and Thesaurus (Excerpt)
The next raid was real.
On the night of September 19, the 1)cuckoo called from the radio, and it was followed by a deep, informative voice. It listed Molching as a possible target.
2)Eerie air followed them down to the Fiedlers' basement. “I think it's real tonight,” said Mr. Fiedler, and the children quickly realized that their parents were even more afraid this time around. Reacting the only way they knew, the youngest of them began to wail and cry as the room seemed to swing.
Even from the cellar, they could vaguely hear the tune of bombs. Air pressure shoved itself down like a ceiling, as if to mash the earth. A bite was taken of Molching's empty streets.
Rosa held furiously on to Liesel's hand.
The sound of crying children kicked and punched.
Even 3)Rudy stood completely erect, 4)feigning 5)nonchalance, tensing himself against the tension. Arms and elbows fought for room. Some of the adults tried to calm the infants. Others were unsuccessful in calming themselves.
“Shut that kid up!” Frau Holtzapfel 6)clamored, but her sentence was just another 7)hapless voice in the warm chaos of the shelter. Grimy tears were loosened from children's eyes, and the smell of night breath, underarm sweat, and overworn clothes was stirred and stewed in what was now a 8)cauldron swimming with humans.
For comfort, to shut out the din of the basement, Liesel opened one of her books and began to read. The book on top of the pile was The Whistler and she spoke it aloud to help her concentrate. The opening paragraph was numb in her ears.
“What did you say?” Mama roared, but Liesel ignored her. She remained focused on the first page.
When she turned to Page Two, it was Rudy who noticed. He paid direct attention to what Liesel was reading, and he tapped his brother and his sisters, telling them to do the same. Hans Hubermann came closer and called out, and soon, a quietness started bleeding through the crowded basement. By Page Three, everyone was silent but Liesel.
She didn't dare to look up, but she could feel their frightened eyes hanging on to her as she hauled the words in and breathed them out. A voice played the notes inside her. This, it said, is your accordion.
The sound of the turning page carved them in half.
Liesel read on.
For at least 20 minutes, she handed out the story. The youngest kids were 9)soothed by her voice, and everyone else saw visions of the whistler running from the crime scene. Liesel did not. The book thief saw only the mechanics of the words—their bodies stranded on the paper, beaten down for her to walk on.
Everyone waited for the ground to shake.
That was still an 10)immutable fact, but at least they were distracted now, by the girl with the book. One of the younger boys 11)contemplated crying again, but Liesel stopped at that moment and imitated her papa, or even Rudy for that matter. She winked at him and resumed.
Only when the sirens leaked into the cellar again did someone interrupt her. “We're safe,” said Mr. Jenson.
“Shhh!” said Frau Holtzapfel.
Liesel looked up. “There are only two paragraphs till the end of the chapter,” she said, and she continued reading with no 12)fanfare or added speed. Just the words.
Out of respect, the adults kept everyone quiet, and Liesel finished Chapter One of The Whistler.
On their way up the stairs, the children rushed by her, but many of the older people thanked the girl for the distraction. They did so as they made their way past and hurried from the house to see if Himmel Street had sustained any damage.
Himmel Street was untouched.