Synopses & Reviews
A lyrical literary memoir that explores the exhilarating, discomforting, and ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation taking place in Poland today.
Although an estimated 80 percent of American Jews are of Polish descent, many in the postwar generation and those born later know little about their families’ connection to their ancestral home. In fact, many Jews continue to think of Poland as a bastion of anti-Semitism, since nearly the entire population of Polish Jewry was killed in the Holocaust. The reality is more complex: although German-occupied Poland was the site of great persecution towards Jews, it was also the epicenter of European Jewish life for centuries. Louise Steinman sets out to examine the burgeoning Polish-Jewish reconciliation movement through the lens of her own family's history, joining the ranks of Jews of Polish descent who are confronting both Poland’s heroism and occupation-afflicted atrocities, and who are seeking to reconnect with their families’ Polish roots.
These nine essays concentrate on the lives of second-generationPolish survivors of the Holocaust, and the memories they carry. Steinman (The Library Foundation of Los Angeles) guides us throughtheir stories, and the overall effect is that there are some crises that can never resolve themselves.Annotation ©2014 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
"Louise Steinman's story is heroic in all the old senses of the word: a journey of a literal sort; a journey into the terrible past; and a journey into her own soul. Unblinking, scrupulous and enduring." Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
“An event like the Holocaust not only takes a toll of dead and traumatizes the survivors. It leaves its mark on later generations as well — the children and grandchildren of the families of victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. This is the territory Louise Steinman explores, with great feeling and with hope, in The Crooked Mirror.” Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars
About the Author
Louise Steinman is the author of the award-winning memoir The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father’s War. For the past two decades, she has curated the ALOUD literary and performance series for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. She also codirects the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California.