Returning from Silence: Jenny's Story

(Author) (Translator)
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$30.00  $27.90
Swan Isle Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 9.0 X 1.2 inches | 1.0 pounds
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About the Author
Michèle Sarde is a novelist, biographer, essayist, and professor emerita at Georgetown University. She has been awarded by the Government of France the prestigious Chevalier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite and Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Rupert Swyer is an independent translator and journalist. His translations include the works of notable French philosophers, sociologists, and historians. He lives in Paris.
"This book is about all that hides behind silence: the history of a family in the twentieth century and how and why for so long their children never heard it. Sarde starts in the lovely, prickly texture of Jewish life in Salonika and its the rich culture; so we know what is at stake. We get to know her family intimately, no cut-out heroes or villains but human figures with their fears, their snobberies, their dreams; so we care very much about these people. Then we're thrown, in pages that are much too vivid for comfort, into the fate of so many of them murdered by the Nazi machine, and so many fighting in the resistance to the war on the Jews. And then we hear how silence came down, and how it was broken. Sarde's book is funny, chilling, atrocious and beautiful. It is as various as life." --Michael Pye, author of The Pieces from Berlin and Europe's Babylon: The Rise and Fall of Antwerp's Golden Age
"Swyer's engaging translation brings English-speaking readers Michèle Sarde's spirited, award-winning saga. Mingling creative writing with family memories and inspired by personal vicissitudes during some of the most tormented periods of the twentieth century, this poignant, gripping, and sometimes humorous novel takes readers from Salonica to Paris and beyond. In Returning from Silence, the setting is historical, but the themes are contemporary: identity, discrimination, emigration and assimilation, and resilience, among others."--Marva Barnett, author of To Love Is to Act: Les Misérables and Victor Hugo's Vision for Leading Lives of Conscience and Victor Hugo on Things That Matter; University of Virginia professor emerita
"The body of [Sarde's] work is stunning in volume, quality, and diversity. . . . Her latest book, Returning from Silence. . . . unfolds the painful but liberating journey of being born at the beginning of World War II to a Jewish family in France, forced to hide throughout the Nazi persecutions. . . . Whenever a powerful and unforgettable story of survival of the Shoah emerges into the world in the form of an artistic product, it represents a victory over darkness and oblivion."-- "BOMB Magazine"
"In her riveting memoir, Sarde describes how the first immigrant Sephardim (Jews of Spanish origin) struggled to maintain their identity in the face of Christian pressure and unfamiliar Ashkenazi customs."-- "Washington Independent Review of Books"