The survivors : a story of war, inheritance, and healing / Adam P. Frankel.
- 3 of 3 copies available at BC Interlibrary Connect. (Show)
- 1 of 1 copy available at Prince Rupert Library.
0 current holds with 3 total copies.
- ISBN: 9780062258588
- ISBN: 0062258583
- Physical Description: xiv, 271 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
- Edition: First edition.
- Publisher: New York, New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 
- Copyright: ©2019.
A memoir of family, the Holocaust, trauma, and identity, in which Adam Frankel, a former Obama ... Read More
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|Subject:||Frankel, Adam P. > Family.
Grandchildren of Holocaust survivors > Biography.
Holocaust survivors > Biography.
Holocaust survivors' families > Biography.
- Kirkus Reviews : Kirkus Reviews 2019 September #1
A debut memoir about "the ways the trauma of the Holocaust has reverberated through the generations of [the author's] family." Frankel, a former speechwriter for Barack Obama, focuses first on his maternal grandparents, who not only managed to survive the Nazi death camps, but also thrived, on the surface at least, after their arrival in the United States a few years after the end of World War II. They settled in New Haven, Connecticut, where they ran a jewelry store specializing in watch repair. As the author learned incremental details about their experiences, his respect and adoration for his grandparents only grew. The dominant character in the family chronicle, however, is Frankel's mother, Ellen, a functional career woman but emotionally unstable individual. Ellen grew up understandably marked by the survival saga of her parents, and Frankel speculates about how being the devoted daughter of Holocaust survivors affected Ellen. "All of the drama, the volatility, hardly seemed Mom's fault," he writes. "She was, I knew, at the mercy of her emotions, subject to their fickle swings." The author also looks inward to determine what his family's experiences mean for him as a Jew growing up in a less perilous environment. For students of American politics and history, Frankel's apprenticeship with John F. Kennedy confidant Ted Sorensen and later work for Obama provide welcome relief from the otherwise relentless emotional roller coaster. Frankel's marriage and fatherhood add further poignancy to the narrative, and his well-delineated portraits of his cousins, aunts, uncles, and their extended families provide helpful context to the dramatic family saga. It's a unique addition to the literature of personal accounts that keep the memory of the Holocaust alive at a time when it is "getting harder to teach young people about [it] because the most compelling instructorsâsurvivorsâare all passing away." An emotionally powerful multigenerational memoir. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
- Library Journal Reviews : LJ Reviews 2019 September
Frankel, an adviser to the Emerson Collective and former speechwriter for Barack Obama, debuts with a distinct account that is part history of the Holocaust, part memoir of a parent living with mental illness, and a behind-the-scenes look at the first Obama campaign and administration. Frankel's maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors. Family stories and research in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum archives detail their horrific experiences. The trauma of surviving the Holocaust negatively affected his American-born mother's long-term mental health. Though his mother and father divorced when he was young, he remained close to both parents and both sets of grandparents. When he finished college, he began to ask his mother hard questions about his parentage. What he learned left him reeling just as he was embarking on an outwardly successful professional and personal life. Here, he honestly recounts this difficult journey of relearning identity and belonging.Copyright 2019 Library Journal.
VERDICTReaders of biography, history, and politics, and those interested in the effects of trauma on subsequent generations, will appreciate this thoughtful book. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/19.] âLaurie Unger Skinner, Highland Park P.L., IL
- PW Annex Reviews : Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
In this clear-eyed memoir, former Obama speech writer Frankel portrays family members shattered by the Holocaust, including his own. As a child in the 1980s, Frankel frequently talked with his mother's parents, Holocaust survivors Rivkah (Bubbie) and Abraham (Zayde), about how they assumed new identities after the war, among other open secrets: "Secrets are something of a family tradition," he notes. When Frankel was a young adult, his mother became increasing unstable, and, he observes, "I couldn't shake the feeling that Mom's life, and my own, had been shaped by the Holocaust." He decided to study Holocaust trauma theories, in part to understand what he believed to be the "soul wounds" she'd inherited. Frankel's digging into his mother's past eventually revealed the "toxic secret" that his biological father was a family friend, and that he was the product of an affair. As Frankel hurls head-first into an identity crisis, he feels as if his "whole life had been a lie"; traumatized, he "suddenly felt a strange new kinship with Bubbie and Zayde." He's overtaken by rage and debilitating anxiety attacks; the healing commenced only as he began to understand his paternal relationships and his mother's fragile mental state. Frankel's candid, evenhanded memoir affectingly depicts a son's struggle to understand himself and his family history.Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly Annex.