With her recent autobiographical account in Out of Hiding: A Holocaust’s Survivor’s Journey to America, Ruth Gruener (aka Luncia Gamzer) tells her story of survival. Her memoir joins those stories told by other survivors of this unimaginable time in history. This was a time when anxiety turned to cold, raw fear as the Nazis burned synagogues and committed murder without regard for the sanctity of human life—a time when choice was taken, freedom was scarce, and normal took on an entirely different definition. Gruener tells of her feeling like a nonperson, “a body that took up space” (27). She describes hunger, loneliness, hiding, and aRead More →

A good story takes you places. And with Taking Flight, a memoir by Michaela and Elaine DePrince, the reader journeys from war-torn Sierra Leone in West Africa to recital halls in New York City with Mabinty Bangura. With this memoir, readers learn something of West African culture. In a typical household in the Kenema District of southeastern Sierra Leone, marriages are arranged, polygamy is acceptable, domestic violence is permissible, women learn how to cook, clean, sew, and care for children, and a girl child is not a cause for celebration—especially not a girl child born with the skin condition vitiligo that causes a mottled pigmentationRead More →