They Were Good Germans Once: A Memoir

They Were Good Germans Once: A Memoir

by Evelyn Toynton
They Were Good Germans Once: A Memoir

They Were Good Germans Once: A Memoir

by Evelyn Toynton


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While Evelyn Toynton’s father became a hard-working, civic-minded American, with a great sense of obligation to his suburban community, her uncle never stopped feeling like an exile in the US; and as soon as he could after World War II, he started making trips back to Germany. The women in her family also had widely varying relationships to the societies in which they found refuge. One of them, after browbeating a Nazi police chief into arranging for her husband’s release from Dachau, wound up in England and became a passionate Anglophile; another, a widow deprived of all material comfort and security, retreated into seclusion in her tiny New York apartment, distancing herself from American life and finding solace in her beloved German poets. A fierce Zionist who smuggled guns and money from Europe into Palestine under the noses of the British went on to found a kibbutz and fight for the rights of Arabs as well as Jews. Then there was the author’s German-born mother, who emigrated to the U.S. only to be struck down by tragedy and forced to live separately from her children, but still found ways to nurture them and provide them with a haven from their own sorrows. Each of these remarkable people had lost not only their native homeland and their sense of identity but many of the people they loved. Yet almost all found ways to give meaning to their lives, whether in their own small circles or in the larger world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781953002389
Publisher: Delphinium
Publication date: 05/14/2024
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Evelyn Toynton is the author of three novels: Modern Art (published by Delphinium, selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize;later published in Russian and Chinese translations);The Oriental Wife (optioned for a film, and published in a Greek translation), and Inheritance (starred reviews in Booklist and the Library Journal), and of a short biography of Jackson Pollock, part of the Yale University Press’s Icons of America series. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the London Review of Books, Harper’s, the Atlantic, the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post Book World, the TLS, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, Prospect, and Salmagundi. They have also been published in the anthologies Rereadings;Mentors, Muses & Monsters;Novel Writing: An Artists’ and Writers’ Companion;and Table Talk from the Threepenny Review. Toynton has received fellowships from Yaddo, the Maison Dora Maar, the Djerassi Colony, The International Writers’ and Translators’ Center of Rhodes, and the Spiti tis Logotexnias in Paros. For the past twenty-five years, she has lived in England, on the North Norfolk coast.
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