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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Paperback / Publisher: Bison Books / Pub. Date: 2006-12-01 Attributes: Book, 142 pp / Stock#: 2038903 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Holocaust Girls: History, Memory, and Other Obsessions Paperback – December 1, 2006

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From Booklist

"You don't have to be Jewish to be a Holocaust girl," Wisenberg posits in the first of her 24 perceptive essays, "but it helps." In other essays she speaks of the Jews' daily acceptance of the mystery of oneness with God, of visiting Franz Kafka's grave while attending a conference on anti-Semitism in Prague in 1992, and of a trip to Theresienstadt concentration camp, which is now a museum and where the tourists tote cameras and eat ice cream. Wisenberg, author of The Sweetheart Is In (2001), remembers how she and her sister hid in the closet of their Texas home in the 1960s, pretending that Nazis were looking for them, and how she regretted not having observed all the traditional Jewish rituals at her father's funeral. With her lucid style and power of observation, Wisenberg's insightful essays are gems not to be missed. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Equal parts Fran Lebowitz and Leon Wieseltier: smart and satisfying."--Kirkus Reviews "S.L. Wisenberg has perfected 'the small personal voice' that Doris Lessing advocated as the healing consolation we seek today in literature. Her lyrical essays are acutely honest, intelligent, sensitive, funny, touching, and magnificently rewarding."--Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait of My Body and The Art of the Personal Essay "Anyone who gets meditative around the High Holy Days, wondering exactly what it means to be a contemporary American and a Jew, will find a caring companion in Chicago-based journalist S.L. Wisenberg...The strength of this collection is not so much in the answers Wisenberg provides, but in the questions she raises."--Forward "Writing to be savored, to reread, to read aloud to someone else... These are wonderful writings from a prolific local author whose talents deserve a large audience."--Chicago Tribune "The title is thought-provoking ... Irony emanates ... from several pieces in this collection"--Houston Chronicle "With her lucid style and power of observation, Wisenberg's insightful essays are gems not to be missed."--Booklist "A poignant and urgent collection." --Rain Taxi Review of Books "S.L. Wisenberg has found a way to approach, via imagination, informal scholarship, and a bold stylistic originality, the place of the Jew as stateless person in Europe, the American 'self' on shifting sands of comfort, security, and continuing uncertainty ... , the search for meaningful traditions, and guilt about complicity with the status quo."--Rosellen Brown, author of Before and After and Half a Heart. "Marked as much by its inventive, even eccentric, prose style as it is by a strong moral and political conscience, Holocaust Girls has the kind of urgency and intimacy that marks the best creative nonfiction. Wisenberg explores her varied subjects with truly original insight that transcends her own identity without ever losing sight of it."--Robin Hemley, author of Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness "The essays in Holocaust Girls run a generous gamut in terms of subject matter, yet they consistently offer a pitch perfect blend of candor, irreverence, and deep heart's feeling."--Madeleine Blais, author of Uphill Walkers: Memoir of a Family "[Wisenberg's] essays are engaging because of their concerns and unpredictable turns. While commenting on common experiences and incidents of the day, her essays show the parallels and intersections of the lives of contemporary persons, especially Jews, with the lives of those caught in the threats and opprressions of Nazi Germany."--Small Press Book Review "One of the more provocative collections of writing I have encountered in some time, and I remain in admiration of Wisenberg for her curiosity, her use of imagination, and her eloquence... In this collection, we know we are in the hands of a poet, someone who has a gift for gorgeous turns of phrase that are both economical and freighted with meaning. Wisenberg is an original voice, a writer who takes risks."--Fourth Genre "Wisenberg gives us history, personal history, biography, autobiography, a glimps of Grynszpan's trial, and ultimately, focus: a vivid, clear way to look backward and inward... I encourage, then, private individuals to read it. May everyone who does so advance the (so far) impossible project of understanding the unspeakable."--Glenn Deutsch, Third Coast "A collection of essays about history's forerunners, forgotten dissenters, and siblings of the famous."--Jason Warshof, Heeb "Wisenberg has a good eye for offbeat detail... She is an entertaining, self-aware narrator. A high point comes when Wisenberg considers the matter of Monica Lewinsky, reading whose biography, she writes, 'is like taking a five-hour call from your most annoying friend when you were fourteen years old, the one with constant boy problems.' ...Equal parts Fran Lebowitz and Leon Wieseltier: smart and satisfying."-- Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (December 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803298668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803298668
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,308,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Charles Patterson on November 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This fascinating book of personal essays by Chicago-based writer Sandi Wisenberg covers a wide range of subjects--Holocaust subjects such as Herschel Grynszpan, Hannah Senesh, Margot Frank (Anne's sister), and Kurt Waldheim, as well as the author's personal and family life, her Jewishness, visits to Paris, Mexico, and Central America, Yiddish classes, Franz Kafka, and race relations in Chicago.
The book's title comes from her early years growing up in Texas in the 1960s when she and her sister used to hide in the closet and imagine the Nazis were coming to get them. "You immerse yourself in descriptions of horror," she writes about her childhood. "You stand in the library aisle in the World War II-Europe section and thumb through familiar pages. You stare at the photographs of the skeletons, compositions you've memorized. You watch your tears make little dents, like tiny upturned rose petals, on the pages."
Early on Wisenberg became aware of her distant relatives who perished in Europe. "The ones left behind in Kishinev, in Slutsk, in a little shtetl near Kovno called Pusvatin: great-grandparents and great-great uncles, cousins three and four times removed."
Wisenberg writes about her Second Generation friend in Skokie, Illinois, who reads to his ailing mother every day from Mila 18, the Leon Uris novel about the Jewish Ghetto Uprising. "His father was in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, his mother was drifting through Poland on her own, twelve years old, and then surrendered herself at a work camp." With all of his grandparents dead and his parents speaking English with thick Yiddish accents that his classmates made fun of, he "felt like a stranger in this country, an outsider, outside the lives of other Jewish Americans.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rivka Similson on March 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
While it is clear that Wisenberg's essays offer a personal, intimate account of the absorbing, traumatic nature of such a horrific and atrocious event in human history, her message to young readers is reductive at best. The "Holocaust Girl" who is imaginarily thrust into the role-call line in a Supermarket certainly has a right to be overwhelmed by the collective memory of which she identifies, and perhaps traumatically overidentifies. (I am writing a thesis on the Holocaust and see cattle-cars instead of trains). But Wisenberg's book unfortunately creates an exclusive historical identification that ignores the fundamental lesson of the Holocaust--that is, an obligation towards the other not as an object but as a subject. What kind of lesson is it for young readers to read about a girl so immersed in her own memorial suffering that she fails to treat those immediately surrounding her with recognition and compassion? This girl, wallowing in her own history, unfortunately misses the point entirely when she doesn't smile or offer her kindness to that check-out girl or that man in line behind her. It was that sort of attitude, which substitutes a myth for a visible reality, that enabled millions of Germans to look the other way as millions of Jews disappeared from within their midst.
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