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The Crooked Mirror

Best Seller
The Crooked Mirror by Louise Steinman
Paperback $20.00
Oct 28, 2014 | ISBN 9780807061206

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  • Oct 28, 2014 | ISBN 9780807061206

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  • Nov 05, 2013 | ISBN 9780807050552

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  • Nov 05, 2013 | ISBN 9780807050569

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“Steinman’s elegiac book is a powerful reminder of how ideologies can become ‘crooked mirror[s]’ that distort reality and destroy lives, cultures and nations.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Lyrical yet magesterial…heartfelt, poignant, redemptive, and brave.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“Readers can be grateful to Ms. Steinman for bearing witness to those seeds of understanding being planted in lands where so much blood flowed.” —The Wall Street Journal

“[Steinman] achieves something close to peace with those struggling intensely to understand and rectify Poland’s Jewish past.” —Foreign Affairs

“Louise Steinman’s story is heroic in all the old senses of the word: a journey of a literal sort; a journey into the terrible past; and a journey into her own soul. Unblinking, scrupulous and enduring.” —Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

“An event like the Holocaust not only takes a toll of dead and traumatizes the survivors. It leaves its mark on later generations as well—the children and grandchildren of the families of victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. This is the territory Louise Steinman explores, with great feeling and with hope, in The Crooked Mirror.” —Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars 

“Louise Steinman has written the most extraordinary travel book I have ever read—about a journey to nightmare, through unmarked mass graveyards and dark haunted Polish and Ukrainian streets. The miracle is that shattering light breaks repeatedly into this otherwise dark journey. Jews—religious and secular—will have many reasons to read this book.  As a Christian, I urge other Christians to read every page of The Crooked Mirror, to face evil again, and to better understand redemption.” —Richard Rodriguez, author of Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography

The Crooked Mirror is both provocative and ultimately redemptive, a book that will appeal to a wide audience of readers who care about history, genealogy, and the possibility of peace between estranged peoples.” —Jonathan Kirsch, author of The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan

Table Of Contents


INTRODUCTION : The Country in My Head ix
CHAPTER 1: The Memory Book 1
CHAPTER 2: Warum? Why? 6
CHAPTER 3: In Block 11 11
CHAPTER 4: Among the Living 18
CHAPTER 5: Wannsee 26
CHAPTER 6: Walking Papers 34
CHAPTER 7: A Young Man from Oswiecim 43
CHAPTER 8: Keys 50
CHAPTER 9: “Do You Miss Us?” Cabaret 57
CHAPTER 10: Poland, Peyote 67
CHAPTER 11: An Orange Room in L’viv 71
CHAPTER 12: “The Town That Unloved Me” 80
CHAPTER 13: In the Uniform of the Perpetrator 89
CHAPTER 14: Polonia on Trial 94
CHAPTER 15: A Chink in the Wall 102
CHAPTER 16: Saviors of Atlantis 109
CHAPTER 17: Liver and Onions, or the Last Jewish Butcher in Radomsko 119
CHAPTER 18: Interlude: Poland in Wyoming 130
CHAPTER 19: “It Costs You Nothing” 139
CHAPTER 20: Among the Odd Believers 148
CHAPTER 21: We Were the Neighbors 158
CHAPTER 22: A Mensch in Radomsko 168
CHAPTER 23: Venus in LA 177
CHAPTER 24: The Rosetta Stone 184
CHAPTER 25: The Seer 194
CHAPTER 26: La Bibliothèque Polonaise 208
AFTERWORD: The Story Continues 212

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