Join us for an exploration and discussion with these two authors as they excavate complex stories of family secrets and silences, and reconcile past and present.
In “Eva and Eve”, Julie Metz writes about her relationship with her Austrian refugee mother. In “Plunder”, Menachem Kaiser searches for lost family property in Poland and discovers Nazi treasure seekers and a previously unknown family diary.
Julie Metz thought her mother, Eve, was the quintessential New Yorker.In truth, Eve had endured a harrowing childhood in Nazi-occupied Vienna, though she told few stories about that time. After her mother died, Julie discovered a keepsake book filled with farewell notes from friends and relatives, many of whom did not survive. As Julie unearths more about the past, she finds a new way of understanding their complicated relationship as mother and daughter.
Menachem Kaiser never knew his paternal grandfather, a Polish Jew who had survived the Holocaust. Kaiser learns of a relative named Abraham Kaiser who had survived World War II and kept a secret diary while working as a slave laborer on Nazi underground complexes. This diary has become a sacred text among modern-day treasure hunters, and Abraham has become a near-mythological figure. Kaiser delves into questions about legacy and inheritance and reflects on the fraught relationship between storytelling, truth, and myth, and our relationship to all those who came before us.
A copy of both books is available at the library or for advanced purchase through Oblong Books & Music using the following links:
Julie Metz, “Eva and Eve”
Menachem Kaiser, “Plunder”