Friday, August 21, 2009

"Annie's Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret"

At this year’s conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, held recently in Philadelphia, I met Steve Luxenberg, an associate editor of The Washington Post and the author of a fascinating new book, Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret.

Reviewers have raved about the book, which is a compelling narrative, an exploration of family history and a genealogy how-to lesson all at once. Walter Isaacson, biographer of Albert Einstein, described it as “a gripping detective story and a haunting memoir.” Jan Alpert, president of the National Genealogical Society, wrote that the book “is a great non-fiction read for genealogists . . . I believe Annie’s Ghosts will provide you with different ways to look at some of your research problems.”

Employing his skills as a journalist while struggling to maintain his empathy as a son, Steve pieces together the story of his mother’s motivations for hiding her sister’s existence, his aunt’s unknown life, and the times in which they lived. His search takes him to imperial Russia, Depression-era Detroit and the Holocaust in Ukraine.

I asked Steve to provide an excerpt of Annie’s Ghosts for the Museum. You can read an excerpt of his book within the Museum’s virtual Yiddish Vinkl Bookstore by clicking here.

You can also see what other books are featured at the Bookstore by clicking here.

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