Where the Angels Lived: One Family's Story of Exile, Loss, and Return
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About the Author
"Margaret McMullan has written a beautiful and heartrending account of her pilgrimage to Pécs, Hungary in the hope of retrieving what she can of the story of a distant (Jewish) relative, lost in the Holocaust. Written with her usual vividly realized, emotionally engaging prose, in which Margaret emerges as a protagonist with whom the reader identifies, Where the Angels Lived is a powerful testament of familial mourning as well as a vision of 20th century European history that is both searing and uplifting."
-Joyce Carol Oates
"An absolutely riveting story by an utterly engaging narrator-a triumphant blend of honesty, insight, research and imagination. The lethal, irrational hostility of one people towards another is movingly conveyed in all its appalling vividness, at the same time as a vein of humor and delight in discovering and recovering the past animates the prose. McMullan's best book."
"An impressive textual monument of the impact of Nazi genocide and the Shoah on individual lives and family, even three generations after the actual events. [McMullan] does not hesitate to point out the social dissonances, sometimes even in the form of "hatred," that still persist on many different levels as a consequence of this massive crime against humanity. Facing these dissonances is a necessary step towards a sustainable form of remembrance."
-Dr. Christian Dürr, Mauthausen Memorial
"Where the Angels Lived is an engaging, humorous account of one American's discovery of family roots and her personal struggle to understand the hate-filled history of 20th century Europe. Like Edmund de Waal's Hare with the Amber Eyes, McMullan pieces together the lost story of her forgotten ancestor and reminds us all how easy it is for humans to willfully ignore the murderous past and contemporary evil."
-Evelyn Farkas, Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund; National Security Contributor, NBC/MSNBC
"Into this terrifying moment of severe intolerance in America, arrives this meticulously researched, soul-driven account of the generational trauma caused by another country that turned on and gave up its own. Margaret McMullan did not ask for the assignment that sent her and her family to Hungary to mourn an unknown family member lost to the Holocaust, but her radical courage, determination and stamina in the face of that assignment is breathtaking, insisting we pay attention, to the crimes of the past and our actions in the present, because, of course, it can happen here."
-Pam Houston, author of Deep Creek
"McMullan brings us along on a fascinating journey to discover the history of her once influential and industrious family - the Engel de Jánosi....They are entrepreneurs, musicians, lovers, builders and fighters, who, without the author's painstaking research, would have been erased from history forever."
-Eleni Kounalakis, Lt. Governor of California & U.S. Ambassador to Hungary (2010-2013)
"McMullan beautifully pieces together a family history and the history of a country and its ethnic groups to create a stirring and highly informative narrative, full of information, wonderful wisdom and anecdotes, both sorrowful and joyful."
-Josip Novakovich, April Fool's Day