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Synopsis: A lyrical literary memoir that explores the exhilarating, discomforting, and ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation taking place in Poland today
“I’d grown up with the phrase ‘Never forget’ imprinted on my psyche. Its corollary was more elusive. Was it possible to remember—at least to recall—a world that existed before the calamity?”
In the winter of 2000, Louise Steinman set out to attend an international Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau at the invitation of her Zen rabbi, who felt the Poles had gotten a “bum rap.” A bum rap? Her own mother could not bear to utter the word “Poland,” a country, Steinman was taught, that allowed and perhaps abetted the genocide that decimated Europe’s Jewish population, including members of her own extended family.
As Steinman learns more about her lost ancestors, though, she finds that the history of Polish-Jewish relations is far more complex. Although German-occupied Poland was the site of horrific Jewish persecution, Poland was for centuries the epicenter of European Jewish life. After the war, Polish-Jewish relations soured. For Poles under Communism, it was taboo to examine or discuss the country’s Jewish past. Among Jews in the Diaspora, there was little acknowledgment of the Poles’ immense suffering during its dual occupation.
Steinman’s research leads her to her grandparents’ town of Radomsko, whose eighteen thousand Jews were deported or shot during the Nazi occupation. As she delves deeper into the town’s and her family’s history, Steinman discovers a prewar past where a lively community of Jews and Catholics lived shoulder to shoulder, where a Polish Catholic painted the blue ceiling of the Radomsko synagogue, and a Jewish tinsmith roofed the spires of the Catholic church. She also uncovers untold stories of Poles who rescued their Jewish neighbors in Radomsko and helps bring these heroes to the light of day.
Returning time and again to Poland over the course of a decade, Steinman finds Poles who are seeking the truth about the past, however painful, and creating their own rituals to teach their towns about the history of their lost Jewish neighbors. This lyrical memoir chronicles her immersion in the exhilarating, discomforting, sometimes surreal, and ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation.
About the Author: Louise Steinman is the author of the award-winning memoir The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father’s War and The Knowing Body: The Artist as Storyteller in Contemporary Performance. 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.
Title: The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of ...
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication Date: 2013
Book Condition: Used: Good
Book Description Beacon Press, 2013. Book Condition: Good. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP77594706
Book Description Beacon Press, 2013. Book Condition: Very Good. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP78307309
Book Description Beacon Press, 2013. Book Condition: Good. Ships from Reno, NV. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP95463361
Book Description Beacon Press, 2013. Book Condition: Very Good. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP96421168
Book Description Beacon Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Bookseller Inventory # 2774784823
Book Description Beacon Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Light shelving wear with minimal damage to cover and bindings. Pages show minor use. Bookseller Inventory # G0807050555I3N00
Book Description Beacon Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Cover Missing. This book has a light amount of wear to the pages, cover and binding. Bookseller Inventory # G0807050555I3N01
Book Description Beacon Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. This copy shows very minor wear. Bookseller Inventory # G0807050555I4N00
Book Description Beacon Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Very good condition book with only light signs of previous use. Bookseller Inventory # G0807050555I4N00
Book Description Beacon Press 2013-11-05, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. 0807050555 Very Good Condition- May show some limited signs of wear and may have a remainder mark. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. Tracking is not available for orders shipped outside of the United States. **Heavier books will require additional postage for International** PA Sales Tax is included in purchase price. Bookseller Inventory # RH-HC39-VG-M-0807050555