Prague, 1939. Willy and Sophie Kohut own a prosperous business specializing in selling British fabrics for tailoring suits. When the Nazis occupy Czechoslovakia, Willy is arrested and accused of spying for Britain. After Sophie engineers his release, they decide to flee the country for the sake of their toddler, Pavel. Paying a small-time smuggler and using counterfeit Hungarian passports, they journey through Hungary and Germany itself, on an exodus full of unexpected twists that test their courage, and their love.
“The Dragontail Buttonhole is a realistic, artful story of a family’s flight to safety. Courageously precise in its psychological analysis of friend and foe, the novel restores the reader’s confidence in an ordinary family’s fortitude, compassion and humanity.” – Peter Demetz, Author of Prague in Black and Gold and Prague in Danger.
“The Dragontail Buttonhole is a fascinating, well-written read. The Kohut family takes life for granted….until the day the Nazis occupy Prague and Willy Kohut and his family become the target of the Gestapo. The book is an adventure story and a family story that will make you bite your nails and cry, and sometimes smile.” – Helen M. Szablya, Honorary Consul General of Hungary. Author of My Only Choice; 1942-1956 Hungary, The Fall of the Red Star; Hungary Remembered.
“The Dragontail Buttonhole is at once a moving portrait of a marriage, a brilliant evocation of a frightening period of history and a spell-binding tale of survival.” – David Laskin, author of The Long Way Home, The Children’s Blizzard,Partisans and the 2014 Washington State Memoir Award: Family: A Journey into the Heart of the 20th Century
About the Author
Peter Curtis was born in Kosiče in Eastern Slovakia. Later, as a child in England, he was enthralled by books like ‘Treasure Island’, ‘King Solomon’s Mines’, and ‘The 39 Steps’. He dreamed of writing tales of adventure.
As a young man, he trained at Guy’s Hospital, London, specializing in joint and back problems. But when he found that people’s lives were more interesting than inflammation, he turned to family doctoring in the English countryside and began writing about dramatic or amusing incidents in his practice. Some of his short stories were published. The years passed and he moved with his family to the University of North Carolina.
As his family elders and parents passed on, he inherited their photographs and documents and started piecing together the family’s Slovak history. They had been the enthusiastic citizens of a dynamic democratic country, Czechoslovakia, until it was swallowed by Germany during the great and tragic dislocation of WWII. What they went through moved Peter to finally write an adventure story close to his heart.