An Epiphany In Lilacs is a young adult novel set in a DP camp outside Hamburg, Germany following the end of World War II. The author, Iris Dorbian, captures in this story a unique glimpse into the period after the Holocaust when survivors had to deal with their new realities for living, based on her father’s personal experience. After liberation in May 1945, Daniel, a 14-year-old Latvian Jew, is treated in a field hospital in the British zone of partitioned Germany. A survivor of various concentration camps, Daniel fights to recover from starvation and disease. Racked by nightmares, a nearly nightly occurrence, sleep is almost impossible for him. Through his love of nature, and pre-war memories, Daniel struggles to find comfort. He forms an intriguing bond with an older German gentile, another survivor. Later on, as he joins a theater troupe, Daniel tries to move on with his life, yet still searching for the whereabouts of his mother and two sisters. Poised on the cusp of a new life, young Daniel makes his way to the country that will become his new home.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)|
About the Author
From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the author of "Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater," which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008.
Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Adanna Literary Journal, ThisSpace.org, Skirt! and Gothesque Magazine.
A New Jersey native, Iris has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. You can friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/irisdorbianauthor/.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (01/18) “An Epiphany in Lilacs: In the Aftermath of the Camps” by Iris Dorbian is a moving story with a unique perspective addressing life after the war. It is 1945, and fourteen-year-old Daniel has just been released from a concentration camp. Displaced because he no longer has a home to return to, Daniel spends much of his time in the hospital fighting dysentery and the after effects of starvation. He has no clue if his mother and sisters survived. In addition to having setbacks with his recovery, Daniel has to fight through horrible nightmares. He definitely is experiencing PTSD, but there was no help for it back then. As Daniel holds out hope for seeing his family again, he surrounds himself with mostly caring people. He develops a friendship with an older man who is a gentile. It is obvious this man is keeping secrets, yet his friendship with Daniel seems sincere. As Daniel moves forward with his life, he holds out hope that he will soon be reunited with his family. Once he has the answers he seeks, he is able to move forward. He will spend the rest of his life with the memories of what he endured. “An Epiphany in Lilacs: In the Aftermath of the Camps” will give readers a glimpse into what the experience was like for people who endured and survived the holocaust. Knowing that the author Iris Dorbian, based this story on her father's own experience of being a Latvian Jew who was in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany, during this time, makes it even more real and hard hitting. The author's vivid description of the people and the settings makes the reader feel like they are there to experience everything from behind the eyes of the survivors. While the suffering of the survivors is showcased, so is their incredible capacity to move forward and on with their lives. I think that it is impossible to read this book and not be affected for a long time afterwards. I highly recommend “An Epiphany in Lilacs: In the Aftermath of the Camps” by Iris Dorbian, for readers who are interested in World War II. It should be required reading for history classes.
Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite An Epiphany in Lilacs: In the Aftermath of the Camps by Iris Dorbian is a moving book, set within the years following World War II. It is 1945 when Daniel, a Latvian Jew, finally tastes freedom after his horrible experience of the Holocaust. Daniel is still haunted by memories of the concentration camp. This novel explores insomnia and the relentless disquietude that settles on the mind of this young boy as he struggles to come to terms with his new reality, developing new connections, and trying new things. All along, he still doesn’t know where his parents are. Will he be able to locate them? Rich with powerful and piercing historical references, An Epiphany in Lilacs: In the Aftermath of the Camps by Iris Dorbian captures the reality of Jews who survived the Holocaust, the inner scars and the struggles with uncertainty, incessant nightmares, and fitting into the day-to-day lifestyle of ordinary people. It is a heart-wrenching story, told in excellent prose and in the author’s unique style. I have been a huge fan of Holocaust literature, starting with Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, and have always felt appalled by man’s cruelty to fellow man. In this new book, the author explores the terrible effects of a fragment of history on the life of a little boy. This is a story to read and share, a powerful story about freedom and the perils of war. Well-crafted with compelling characters and interesting themes.