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Through literary works and public appearances, Edith Bruck, born 1932 in Hungary, has devoted her life to bearing witness to what she experienced in the Nazi concentration camps. In 1954 she settled in Rome and is today the most prolific writer of Holocaust narrative in Italian. The book is composed in two parts. "Letter to My Mother"—an imaginary dialogue between Bruck and her mother, who died in Auschwitz—probes the question of self-identity, the pain of loss and displacement, the power of language to help recover the past, and the ultimate impossibility of that recovery. "Traces," a story of a journey without return, completes the diptych. Bruck's experimental fusion of memoir and fiction portrays the Holocaust from a female perspective and highlights the role of gender in the creation of memory.
Nominated for a 26th Annual 2006 Northern California Book Award in the category of Translation.