Bold and deeply affecting, Awake in the Dark is a provocative and haunting work of fiction about who we are and how we are formed by history. These luminous stories portray the contemporary lives of the children of Holocaust victims and perpetrators as they struggle with the legacy of their parents -- their questions of identity, family, and faith. In "The House on Kronen-strasse," a woman returns to Germany to find her childhood home; in "The Porcelain Monkey," the shocking origins of an Orthodox Jewish woman's faith are revealed; in "The Lamp," the harrowing experiences of a young woman leave her with the perfect daughter and a strange light; and in "Dark Urgings of the Blood," a patient is convinced that she shares a disturbing history with her psychiatrist.
Rendered in powerful, unaffected prose, Awake in the Dark is an illuminating and startling book about the disguises we don, the secrets we keep, and the consequences of our silences.
About the Author
Shira Nayman grew up in Australia. She has a master's degree in comparative literature and a doctorate in clinical psychology, and has worked as a psychologist and a marketing consultant. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, New England Review, and Boulevard. The recipient of two grants from the Australia Council for the Arts Literature Board, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Praise for Awake in the Dark: Stories…
"I'm shaken by Shira Nayman's brilliant and mystical stories. She writes with wisdom and courage about the devastating heritage that separates and yet links the descendants of Holocaust victims and perpetrators." -- Ursula Hegi, author of Sacred Time and Stones From the River
"Imagine a collaboration between O. Henry and Cynthia Ozick. If you can't, then do read the wonderful stories in Shira Nayman's collection Awake in the Dark." -- Susan Isaacs, author of Any Place I Hang My Hat
"Shira Nayman's stories risk strong emotion and always clear the sentimental. Her sentences have heft and spine and grace, and her vision is clear and generous." -- Mary Gordon, author of Pearl and Spending
"How can you know who you are when deception and secrets are your birthright? With compelling prose and satisfying twists, Shira Nayman reveals the awful burdens carried by people born into dark times, and how those burdens are inherited by their own uncomprehending children. This book will resonate with anyone who has buried a parent without ever knowing who that person was, but it will be especially important to the Holocaust's grandchildren." -- Mary Doria Russell, author of The Thread of Grace and The Sparrow