"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
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"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 ReviewsSee all Editorial Reviews