Malve von Hassell was born in Italy and spent part of her childhood in Belgium and Germany before moving to the United States. She is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research.
Working as an independent scholar, she published The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996). She has also edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell's memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schließt sich - Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994).
She has taught at Queens College, Baruch College, Pace University, and Suffolk County Community College, while continuing her work as a translator and writer.
She has self-published two children's picture books, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (2012/2020), and Turtle Crossing (2021), and her translation and annotation of a German children's classic by Tamara Ramsay, Rennefarre: Dott's Wonderful Travels and Adventures (Two Harbors Press, 2012). The Falconer's Apprentice (namelos, 2015) was her first historical fiction novel for young adults.
She has published Alina: A Song for the Telling (BHC Press, 2020), set in Jerusalem in the time of the crusades, and The Amber Crane (Odyssey Books, 2021), set in Germany in 1645 and 1945. She has completed a biographical work about a woman coming of age in Nazi Germany and is working on a historical fiction trilogy featuring Adela of Normandy.
Tapestry of My Mother's Life
Tapestry of My Mother's Life is a biographical account of a woman coming of age in Germany during the 1930s. Malve von Hassell explores her mother's life through the fragmented lens of transmitted memory, and its impact on the second generation.
Born at her grandfather's house in Farther Pomerania, 1923, Christa von Hassell had to contend with the increasing and pervasive impact of the Nazi regime. As the child of a German army officer, she moved with her parents often. Through boarding school, university, marriage, the Second World War, life under Soviet occupation, and a new beginning in the West that eventually took her to America, the biography is an emotional journey of childhood, survival, and relationships.
The portrayal of Christa's life also focuses on the role of memory: shaped, distorted, and realigned in the continual process of telling stories of the past in conjunction with silence about many aspects. Children of women who shared similar experiences and life trajectories struggled with the challenge of learning about their parents' lives during extraordinary times, confounded by a wealth of stories on the one hand and a seemingly impenetrable veil of silence on the other.
Working through such memorabilia, as well as the tales of the past, can offer ways in which one can come to terms with the inherited detritus of thoughts and memories. As such, this account of the life of a unique and complex individual has also wider relevance in that it addresses age-old questions of the relationship between one generation and the next.
Published, 2021 by Next Chapter Publishing.
The Amber Crane
The Amber Crane pushes the boundaries of time-travel fiction and of your imagination in this tale of a journey from the past into the present, set in two devastating wars three hundred years apart and steeped in the lore and legends of amber from the shores of the Baltic Sea.
Set in a small town along the Baltic coastline, this YA historical fiction tells the story of Peter, an apprentice in the amber guild in the waning years of the Thirty Years War in the 17th century.
Clutching precious amber found in a clump of seaweed, Peter has a choice to make. He knows the severe penalties imposed on such an action, but he keeps the amber and works on it in secret, with potentially disastrous consequences for people close to him. Meanwhile, unaware of the amber piece's magical powers, Peter finds himself drawn into a world three hundred years in the future where he is embroiled in the troubles of a mysterious stranger and witnesses the ravages of the last months of World War II in and around his home.
While the novel uses the fantasy element of time travel, in every other respect, the book stays true to events and to the reality of life in the two time periods, e.g., 1644/45 and 1944/45.
Published, 2021 by Odyssey Books
Moving from home is hard. It is even harder for young children who cannot imagine a world beyond the one they have always known. Oliver the turtle experiences this first hand. Reluctant to leave his home, he finally runs to catch up with his parents.
Oliver has some adventures along the way and learns an important lesson in the process. Enjoy this read-aloud picture book with your child. For inquiring minds some interesting facts about turtles are included at the end, answering questions the reader might have about turtles.
Letters from the Tooth Fairy
Did you ever wonder what the Tooth Fairy does with the teeth she collects? Were you ever curious about the place where the Tooth Fairy lives? What does the Tooth Fairy do when she gets tired of her job? Read these letters and you will find out. The book consists of a total of ten letters from the Tooth Fairy to an eight-year old boy in response to his letters placed under the pillow. The Tooth Fairy describes her world to the boy in response to his attempts to reach out and communicate.
A read-aloud picture book to entertain adults and children alike. Illustrations by Marie Amélie Marquaire.
Alina: A Song for the Telling
Alina: A Song for the Telling is the coming-of-age story of a young woman from Provence in the 12th century who travels to Jerusalem, where she is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder, and finds her voice.
"You should be grateful, my girl. You have no dowry, and I am doing everything I can to get you settled. You are hardly any man's dream." Alina's brother Milos pulled his face into a perfect copy of Aunt Marci's sour expression, primly pursing his mouth. He got her querulous tone just right. Maybe Alina's aunt was right. She could not possibly hope to become a musician, a trobairitz—impoverished as she was and without the status of a good marriage. But Alina refuses to accept the life her aunt wants to impose on her. At the first opportunity she and her brother embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to pray for their father's soul and to escape from their aunt and uncle's strictures. Their journey east takes them through the Byzantine Empire all the way to Jerusalem, where Alina is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder. Forced by a manipulative, powerful lord at court into acting as an informer, Alina tries to protect her wayward brother, while coming to terms with her attraction to a French knight.
Published, 2020 by BHC Press.
The Falconer's Apprentice
"That bird should be destroyed!" Andreas stared at Ethelbert in shock. Blood from an angry-looking gash on the young lord's cheek dripped onto his embroidered tunic. Andreas clutched the handles of the basket containing the young peregrine. Perhaps this was a dream—" Andreas, an apprentice falconer at Castle Kragenberg, cannot bear the thought of killing the young female falcon and smuggles her out of the castle. Soon he realizes that his own time there has come to an end, and he stows away, with the bird, in the cart of an itinerant trader, Richard of Brugge.
So begins a series of adventures that lead him from an obscure castle in northern Germany to the farthest reaches of Frederick von Hohenstaufen's Holy Roman Empire, following a path dictated by the wily trader's mysterious mission. Andreas continues to improve his falconry skills, but he also learns to pay attention to what is happening around him as he travels through areas fraught with political unrest. Eventually, Richard confides in Andreas, and they conspire to free Enzio, the eldest of the emperor's illegitimate sons, from imprisonment in Bologna. The Falconer's Apprentice is a story of adventure and intrigue set in the intense social and political unrest of the Holy Roman Empire in the thirteenth century.