Hicks's Novel, 'The Commandant of Lubizec,' is Converted to Audiobook

Dr. Patrick Hicks's “The Commandant of Lubizec”

“The Commandant of Lubizec,” the first novel published by Augustana University’s Writer-in-Residence and professor in the English and Journalism department, Dr. Patrick Hicks, has been converted into an audiobook. Now available via Audible, this rare achievement comes more than four years after the novel was initially published by Steerforth/Random House in March 2014. This is the first faculty book at Augustana University that has been converted into an audiobook, which can be purchased and downloaded on Audible. The original novel is available on Amazon.

Set in the early 1940s, the novel is based on the Operation Reinhard death camps in Poland during World War II. To research the book, Hicks read extensively on the Holocaust and traveled to Warsaw and Krakow, Poland, to discover the kind of details that he says “make fiction real.”

“It’s one thing to study the Holocaust from a safe academic distance,” said Hicks. “It’s another thing to stand where these crimes took place. It becomes more real for you. It does something to you to be in these places and that just naturally affects you as an artist.”

There has been a significant increase in audiobook sales over the last three years. According to the Wall Street Journal, audiobooks are the fastest growing format in book publishing. The audiobook market is currently evaluated at more than $2 billion dollars, with experts forecasting immense growth in the coming years.

On the novel’s expanded “listenership” reaching new audiences, Hicks states, “For readers, it may seem natural and perhaps even inevitable that all novels become audio books, but that simply isn't the case, especially for a first novel (which is the case of The Commandant of Lubizec). It's generally only something that happens when a book has been making a consistent and sustained connection with readers. Among writers, this isn’t so much an honor as it is an indication that your work might last, and that you’ve created something that continues to resonate with new audiences, which is infinitely more rewarding to me. I’m proud to see this story become available on an entirely new platform and to further those connections over time.”

Top Reviews of The Commandant of Lubizec

"This is a vividly detailed, terrifying, convincing, and completely spellbinding story rooted in those murderous events we now call the Holocaust ... Patrick Hicks has accomplished a very difficult literary task. He has a given a believable and fresh and original face to barbarism. What a fine book this is." — Tim O'Brien, National Book Award winner, author of The Things They Carried


"In The Commandant of Lubizec, Patrick Hicks imagines the unimaginable and thus gives us a glimpse into the terrible complexity of the human heart. This is a fascinating and important book." — Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winner

​"Thought-provoking and gut-wrenchingly powerful." — Kirkus Reviews ​

About Patrick Hicks

Patrick Hicks is the Writer-in-Residence at Augustana University where he teaches courses on creative writing as well as Irish literature. When not discussing the literary arts with students, Dr. Hicks teaches such honors courses as “Great Britain and the Great War” and “Eleutheria: Freedom and Literature.” He is the author of The Commandant of Lubizec: A Novel of the Holocaust and Operation Reinhard, published by Steerforth/Random House, a short story collection, The Collector of Names, published by Schaffner Press, as well as six poetry collections, most recently Adoptable and This London, both from Ireland’s prestigious press, Salmon Poetry. He also edited A Harvest of Words, which was partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. His work has appeared in some of the most vital literary journals in the nation, including Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, The National Catholic Reporter, Commonweal, The London Magazine, The Huffington Post, and many others. He has been nominated seven times for the Pushcart Prize, he has won the “Glimmer Train Fiction Award,” been a notable mention in Best American Stories, and his first novel was one of only twenty books chosen for National Reading Group Month. Dr. Hicks has received individual artist grant awards from such institutions as the Bush Artist Foundation, the Loft Literary Center, and the South Dakota Arts Council. He has twice been nominated for an Emmy. Before taking his Ph.D. from the University of Sussex (England), Dr. Hicks lived in Northern Ireland, Germany, and Spain for many years. A former Visiting Fellow at Oxford and a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States, he gives fiction and poetry readings all across the nation. His website is www.patrickhicks.org.