Can Germany be home to a Jewish author born after the war? Or must the past remain a stronger force than the present? Barbara Honigmann moved from East Berlin to Strasbourg in 1984 but has nevertheless become a German writer whose direct yet poetic style has met with an enthusiastic response from readers. In her new book she examines both facets of her current, her "only" life: "then", represented by the history of her family, and "now", the present so much influenced by the past. Place-names become symbols of Jewish-German fates in our century: "Graves of London" is dedicated to her expatriate grandparents, "Destruction of Vienna" examines her mother's life story, and "Concerning my great-grandfather, my Grandfather, my Father and Me" is a moving portrait of Jewish life over four generations. In other chapters, Barbara Honigmann describes her current life: from the "Self-Portraits" as a Jewish woman and a mother to "My Sephardic Girl-Friends", a lively illustration of multicultural life in Strasbourg. Barbara Honigmann's very personal book reveals the close link between past and present in our everyday reality.
The Past and What Came After
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