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Discover unrelenting spirit and strength in the extraordinary true story of Franci: a woman who survived the holocaust against all of the odds
'Achingly moving, gives much-needed hope. Deserves the status both as a valuable historical source and as a stand-out memoir' Daily Express
'A story that needs to be heard' 5***** Reader Review
In 1942 Franci Epstein, a young Jewish woman, was imprisoned in Terezin, a concentration camp close to her home in Prague.
Few could expect anything other than death. But for Franci it was the start of a journey that would take her into the very heart of Nazi genocide.
Through a combination of guile, ingenuity, endurance and sheer bloody mindedness, Franci survived not one but five death camps, including Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.
In this astonishing memoir, unpublished for 50 years, Franci lays bare the appalling sacrifices she and other women had to make to survive.
It is a story of hope in the face of suffering; of one woman's determination to live.
'First-hand accounts of life in Nazi Death camps never lose their terrible power but few are as extraordinary as Franci's War' Mail on Sunday
'Inspiring . . . Franci is someone many women today will be able to identify with' 5***** Reader Review
'Remarkable' Eva Fogelman
'A heartbreaking story of survival . . . fascinating' 5***** Reader Review
'Deeply moving and extraordinary' Helen Fremont
'Extremely moving, demonstrated amazing strength of will and determination to survive' 5***** Reader Review
'Incredible' Susannah Sirkin
Joseph Papp (1921-1991) theater producer, champion of human rights and of the First Amendment, founder of the New York Shakespeare Festival and Public Theater, changed the American cultural landscape. Born Yussel Papirofsky in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he discovered Shakespeare in public school and first produced a show on an aircraft carrier during World War II. After a stint at the Actors’ Lab in Hollywood, he moved to New York, where he worked as a CBS stage manager during the golden age of television. He fought Parks Commissioner Robert Moses (as well as Mayors Wagner, Lindsay, Beame and Koch) winning first the right to stage free Shakespeare in New York’s Central Park, then municipal funding to keep it going. He built the Delacorte Theater and later rebuilt the former Astor Library on Lafayette Street, transforming it into the Public Theater.
In addition to helping create an “American” style of Shakespeare, Papp pioneered colorblind casting and theater as a not-for-profit institution. He showcased playwrights David Rabe, Elizabeth Swados, Ntozake Shange, David Hare, Wallace Shawn, John Guare, and Vaclav Havel; directors Michael Bennett, Wilford Leach and James Lapine; actors Al Pacino, Colleen Dewhurst, George C. Scott, James Earl Jones, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Sam Waterston, and Denzel Washington; and produced Hair, Sticks and Bones, for colored girls, The Normal Heart, and A Chorus Line, the longest running musical in Broadway history.
“This first biography of the late Joseph Papp will be a hard act to follow,” wrote Booklist. The front-page New York Times Sunday Book Review noted, “The portrait that emerges might have been jointly painted by Goya, Whistler and Francis Bacon.” Playwright Tony Kushner called Papp “one of the very few heroes this tawdry, timid business has produced” and the book, a “nourishing and juicy biography.”
Oklahoma-born Paul Davis created 51 iconic posters for Joseph Papp, starting in 1975 with the New York Shakespeare Festival production of “Hamlet” starring Sam Waterston. “It was inspiring to work with Joe,” says Davis. ”We would discuss what he wanted to achieve in a production, and he trusted me to find a way to express it. And he respected the poster as its own dramatic form.” The artist’s work has been exhibited in the U.S., Europe and Japan. He is a recipient of a special Drama Desk award created for his theater art. Davis was elected to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame and the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame, and is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.
“In the guise of a family memoir, she brilliantly evokes Jewish life in the Czech lands... Epstein is unsparing, and unlike many family biographers, who are in thrall to their characters, she steps out of the frame to observe herself.” -- New York Times Book Review, Ruth Gay
“In Epstein's expert and sensitive hands, truth becomes not only stranger than fiction, but more magnetic, wise and powerful.” -- Gloria Steinem
“Helen Epstein's literary pilgrimage to her past will enrich our quest for memory and understanding. Written with her superb talent of storytelling, her tale is profoundly human.” -- Elie Wiesel
“Once in a rare while we read a book that puts the urgencies of our time and ourselves in perspective, making us confront the darker realities of human nature... Mrs. Kovaly experienced the two supreme horrors of what Hannah Arendt called this terrible century. But her book is not just a personal memoir of inhumanity. In telling her story – simply, without self-pity – she illuminates some general truths of human behavior... Quietly, with cumulative force, it shows us how the totalitarian state feeds on the blindness and the weakness of man.” – Anthony Lewis, The New York Times
“A wonderfully expressive writer. Although her approach is above all personal, Kovaly’s reflections on her experiences reveal a high degree of insight into politics, individual and institutional behavior, and the formation of attitudes.” – Christian Science Monitor
“A Jew in Czechoslovakia under the Nazis, Kovaly spent the war years in the Lodz ghetto and several concentration camps, losing her family and barely surviving herself. Returning to Prague at the end of the war, she married an old friend, a bright, enthusiastic young Jewish economist named Rudolf Margolius, who saw the country’s only hope for the future in the Communist Party. Thereafter, Rudolf became deputy minister for foreign trade. For a time, the Margoliuses lived like royalty, albeit reluctantly, but then, in a replay of the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, Rudolf and others, mostly of Jewish background, were arrested and hung in the infamous Slansky Trial of 1952. Kovaly’s memoir of these years that end with her emigration to the West after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 are a tragic story told with aplomb, humor and tenderness. The reader alternately laughs and cries as Kovaly describes her mother being sent to death by Dr. Mengele, Czech Communist Party leader Klement Gottwald drunk at a reception, the last sight of her husband, the feverish happiness of the Prague Spring. Highly recommended.” – Publishers Weekly
"reading each of these superb and provocative essays, readers understand history in the memoir and memoir in the history. What all the writers recognize?is that they and their disciplines all deal with the vagaries of memory and how humans construct meaning in the present through memory, however expressed. a superb book. Highly recommended." —Choice
Taking a variety of difficult situations — being trapped in a military invasion, coping with a “bleed in the brain” of a parent or the onset of memories of sexual assault —former New York University journalism professor and author Helen Epstein shows how to turn lived experience into compelling writing.
Epstein’s previous work includes three New York Times “Best books of the year.” Her Children of the Holocaust was the groundbreaking book on inter-generational trauma and families of Holocaust survivors. The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma, focuses on her recovery through psychotherapy from childhood sexual assault. Epstein has written ten books of non-fiction and her writing has been acclaimed as “clear-eyed, fearless, taboo-breaking.”
This memoir is the third of a non-fiction trilogy, following Helen Epstein’s Children of the Holocaust: Conversations with Sons and Daughters of Survivors (Putnam, 1979) and Where She Came From: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother’s History (Little, Brown, 1997), both widely translated. As Gloria Steinem wrote, “In Epstein’s hands, truth becomes not only stranger than fiction but more magnetic.”
“Clear-eyed, fearless, taboo-breaking... This trilogy is unusual not only because nearly 40 years separate the first and last volumes — with the second positioned midway at the 20-year mark — but also because the works differ so greatly in style, structure, and content... The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma’s major contribution is its willingness to talk openly and place forefront a personal trauma of sexual abuse in its post-Holocaust context... Helen Epstein has consistently rejected sanitizing Jewish history — including women’s history... She has refused to keep secrets that she knew needed to be told and she has avoided idealization, nostalgia, and hagiography.” — Irena Klepfisz, Tablet Magazine
“Epstein takes the reader through her decades-long process of self-discovery, understanding and healing accomplished through a strong bond of friendship, a solid and supportive family, and the powerfully restorative effects of psychoanalysis... written with page-turning clarity, openness and complete honesty... This is a ground-breaking memoir in style and in its contribution to the issues of sexual abuse.” — Berkshire Eagle
“In this poignant, vividly written and fearlessly frank memoir, Helen Epstein probes, with sensitivity and insight, the multi-layered ambiguities of love, intimate relationships, and post-Holocaust American lives. More than a chronicle of events, this is a true labor of memory, in which the story of the body is inseparable from the narrative of the self.” — Eva Hoffman, author of Lost in Translation
“In midlife, well settled in marriage and motherhood, Epstein is impelled to revisit the legacy of her childhood. As she risks both her own sanity and the relationships she holds most dear, Epstein illustrates the complex moral and psychological effects of trauma, and the gritty process of recovery.” — Judith Herman, M.D., author ofTrauma and Recovery
“This is heroic writing, and belongs in the canon of accounts of mothers and daughters, of wounds lost in the depth of childhood, and the valiant determination of a woman to live in uncertainty with grace.” — Patricia Hampl, author of I Could Tell You Stories
“In this riveting book, Helen Epstein probes the dark corners of her childhood with sensitivity and remarkable candor. This memoir reads like a detective story and asks questions that affect us all: how does our sexual nature get formed or deformed, and how can it change? Unflinching writing.” — Anne Karpf, author of The War After: Living with the Holocaust
“Courageously peeling back layers of her own psyche, Helen Epstein describes how one is able to withstand and survive t
Zwölf eng beschriebene Seiten hinterlässt Frances Epstein ihrer Tochter; für Helen werden sie zum Ausgangspunkt einer Reise auf den Spuren der Frauen ihrer Familie. Die drei Generationen von Frauen, die sie porträtiert, sind Schneiderinnen; sie führten Modesalons, die damals Zufluchtsorte und eine der wenigen Institutionen waren, wo Frauen frei reden konnten.
„Was wir kurz ,kulturelle Anpassung’ nennen, ist ein Hauptthema von Helen Epsteins neuem, fesselndem Buch Dreifach heimatlos. Im Spiegel einer Familienchronik beschreibt sie lebendig das Leben der Juden in Tschechien. Epstein ist schonungslos in der Beschreibung der Mühsalen einer Verpflanzung und – im Gegensatz zu manchen Familienbiographen, die voll durch ihre Charaktere eingenommen sind – tritt sie aus der Erzählung heraus, um sich selbst zu sehen.” — Ruth Gay, New York Times Book Review
„Helen Epsteins Familiengeschichte ist ein gelungenes, intimes Porträt dreier starker Frauen in schwierigen Zeiten.” — Wiener Zeitung
„In Epsteins sachkundiger und einfühlsamer Erzählung wird Wahrheit nicht nur faszinierender als Dichtung sondern mitreissender, sinnvoller und kraftvoller.” — Gloria Steinem
„Helen Epsteins literarische Pilgerfahrt in ihre Vergangenheit bereichert unsere Suche nach Lebenserinnerungen und deren Verständnis. Geschrieben mit ihrem ausserordentlichen Talent für Geschichtenschreiben ist ihre Erzählung tief menschlich.” — Elie Wiesel
In ihrem ersten Buch Die Kinder des Holocaust untersucht Helen Epstein generationsbedingte Traumata.
“Paul Ornstein's remarkable life has taken him from a cheder in a Hungarian town, to the Budapest Rabbinical Seminary through the Holocaust, to the summit of his psychoanalytic profession. This memoir tells this story in vivid and often moving fashion, including his dazed, postwar search for surviving family members, the tenderness of his romance and reunion with his beloved wife and collaborator Anna, their improbable postwar study of medicine among former Nazis at Heidelberg, his use of hypnosis to cure a paralyzed aide to a legendary congressman, to his development, along with Anna, into a towering figure in self-psychology. Paul, who has been fortunate to have Helen Epstein as his co-author, enriches the book by using his penetrating insight to analyze his own motivations and foibles, and those of colleagues and teachers. The reader comes away astonished by how Paul was able to transcend trauma and retain a spirited delight in living and a lifelong sense of optimism.” —Joseph Berger, veteran reporter, The New York Times
“Paul Ornstein describes his remarkable and moving personal, historical and professional life journey, losing many family members, his community, and his country in the Shoah, yet being blessed from the beginning with a resilient optimism and clear-eyed certainty about what he can accomplish and who and what matters to him... Looking Back... could be called ‘My Father’s Culture’. It serves as companion volume to his beloved Anna’s My Mother’s Eyes.” — Dr. Nancy J. Chodorow, Author, The Power of Feelings, Individualizing Gender and Sexuality
“Paul Ornstein was one of the psychoanalysts who came to the U.S. from Europe after the second world war and became a central figure in American psychoanalysis. He and his wife Anna have made an essential contribution to establishing Heinz Kohut’s self psychology as an important part of our pluralistic psychoanalytic world. The book is a portrait of a fine psychoanalyst and a fine human being.” — Dr. Arnold Richards, Editor InternationalPsychoanalysis.net
“Dr. Ornstein’s story is unique and, fluently written with journalist Helen Epstein, provides a way for mental health professionals and lay people alike to learn how one can overcome apocalyptic trauma... Dr. Ornstein’s story demonstrates how determination, perseverance and love can conquer all.” — Dr. Eva Fogelman, author of Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust
“Looking Back is, like its author, direct, without frills, but leaves the reader thinking about some of the Big Questions. And like the story of Passover, Paul Ornstein's story is one that demands telling and retelling.” — Lester Lenoff, MSW, LCSW, Consulting Editor, Psychoanalytic Inquiry
“As a survivor, Paul Ornstein is a model of resilience, turning his Shoah experience into a lesson in living. As a psychoanalyst, he was able to distance himself from ‘ego psychology’ and to acknowledge, under the influence of Kohut, the clinical importance of empathy... an important book, both moving and intellectually challenging.” — Dr. Rachel Rosenblum, Paris Psychoanalytic Society
“This memoir conveys one man's experience of the Holocaust and how he was able to reconstruct a life after the war. Uniquely, it also gives us a feel for what was a seismic event in analytic circles in the 20th century, the birth and growth of Self Psychology.” —Dr.
“Archivist on a Bicycle is a very special work. Jiří Fiedler was the self-commissioned historian of the Czech Jewish community compiling a vast personal archive before such memory was fashionable, before indeed it was acceptable. Essay after essay in this collection describes his mission and his struggle. The result is a rare insight into life in Czechoslovakia under Communist domination and in the post-Communist era. Fiedler was a man of uncompromising integrity, a ‘moral man in an immoral society.’ I read this book with tears and a smile, with growing admiration and unending gratitude.” —Michael Berenbaum, Professor of Jewish Studies and former Director of the Holocaust Research Institute, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
“A remarkable book about a unique person. Jiří Fiedler’s research and photos from a time when nearly no one dared to be openly interested in Jewish topics are an invaluable resource for researchers of Jewish history and culture in this central European region. His murder left ‘a gap impossible to fill or heal’ as Václav Fred Chvátal´s contribution in the book argues. This collection brings together articles from contributors in the Czech Republic, England, Israel and the USA. It is a fascinating source of information not only about about Jiří Fiedler but about Jews and non-Jews devoted to Jewish heritage in Czechoslovakia.” — Kateřina Čapková, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Institute of Contemporary History
“Conducting research on bygone Jewish sites during socialism was a lonely and dangerous hobby: by remembering Fiedler’s dedication and ethics, Archivist on Bicycle offers a history of postwar Czechoslovakia, Jewish history read against the grain, but also shows, with Havel, the power of the powerless. This lovely, funny, sad book commemorates an eminent scholar of Czech Jewish history.” — Dr. Anna Hájková, University of Warwick
“Archivist on a Bicycle is a moving and informative tribute to a scholar and fine human being whose tireless efforts enriched our knowledge about the presence of Jews in the Czech Lands. His research and generous help enabled others to follow.” — Dr. Michael Riff, Director, The Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Ramapo College of New Jersey
“Fiedler, who was not Jewish, did his work at considerable risk to his own safety, possibly as a way to oppose the regime and at the same time to restore the now destroyed Jewish communities to their rightful place in Czech society. After the fall of Communism in 1989, he continued to work as a scholar at the Jewish Museum of Prague.
Dans cette interview à Tanglewood en 1981, la journaliste Helen Epstein donne un aperçu mémorable de sa conversation avec Leonard Bernstein et de ses observations sur ce musicien de premier plan.
Cette interview fut publiée en anglais dans le livre Music Talks (chapitre « Listening to Lenny »).
Le rapport entre fiction et non-fiction est une question à laquelle tout écrivain se voit confronté. Helen Epstein l’aborde en proclamant son goût pour « les récits de vie », ceux qui amènent l’auteur à tremper sa plume dans son propre sang, dans la chair de sa propre existence. Elle n’est pas dupe pour autant du fait que « ce que nous concevons comme récit de vie est, bien sûr, une construction du souvenir truffée d’erreur, d’interprétation, de fantasme ». Comment ne pas penser ici à un texte de Freud, Constructions en analyse, et à ce que l’inventeur de la psychanalyse y dit des effets positifs d’un tel travail, même lorsque ce dernier ne parvient pas à restituer le cœur du souvenir : « Très souvent on ne réussit pas à ce que le patient se rappelle le refoulé. En revanche, une analyse correctement menée le convainc fermement de la vérité de la construction, ce qui, du point de vue thérapeutique, a le même effet qu’un souvenir retrouvé. » […] (Préface de Philippe Grimbert : La vérité selon Helen Epstein)