(Still experimenting with a new title/format for these midweek posts. Thanks for bearing with me!)
‘TIS THE SEASON
Well, not exactly. But my extended family has found, these past several years, that it’s often easier for all of us to gather for a holiday on less-than-exact dates that are at least in the general vicinity of the holiday in question.
Thus, last weekend found us pre-celebrating Hanukkah. Below, one of the gifts Auntie Erika bestowed: B.J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures (the picture doesn’t capture the excitement/joy that the gift evoked as soon as it was unwrapped; this was one of my more inspired/successful choices!).
This week brought the conclusion of the terrific workshop I’ve been part of this fall. It also brought an effort–now stalled, I admit–to work on a new essay. And it brought a poetry acceptance (more about that soon, I trust!).
I knew the workshop was coming to an end. I suspected that the essay might not “work.” And I hoped the poem might find its home.
But I did not, in any way, anticipate this lovely note which arrived via email yesterday, about one of the short stories in Quiet Americans: Continue reading ›
As many of you already know, my grandmother–who would be 99 today–was a huge influence on the stories in my collection, Quiet Americans. Which celebrated the third anniversary of its publication a few days ago, too.
And as for my passport, it was the focus of one of my first published essays. The scan quality isn’t great, but I’ve uploaded a copy of “Passport from the Past,” which was published in the Boston Sunday Globe in 1997.
[UPDATE: The city schools (and my office) are open–but transit is dicey and non-essential travels around the city aren’t in the cards this morning. I’m going straight to work and rescheduling the consular appointment. I think that Grandma would approve!]
But I’m far from the only one to have written about Kristallnacht in some way. This week also brought plenty of reminders of that fact.
How about you? Are there any literary works you’d recommend that address Kristallnacht?
“Kristallnacht, literally, “Night of Crystal,” is often referred to as the “Night of Broken Glass.” The name refers to the wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938, throughout Germany, annexed Austria, and in areas of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia recently occupied by German troops.”
“Kristallnacht figures as an essential turning point in Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews, which culminated in the attempt to annihilate the European Jews.”
Both of my paternal grandparents had arrived safely in the United States before the Kristallnacht of November 1938. And yet, among the stories my grandmother told over the years, the tale of how her parents and other loved ones back in Germany experienced the horrific events lodged in my mind and in my heart. Continue reading ›