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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY: The Millrock Writers Collective is pleased to announce the publication of Leaving – Memories of Romania by Mihai Grunfeld, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies at Vassar College. The public is invited to a reception celebrating the book’s release on Saturday, December 6, 2008 from 4:00-6:00 PM on the Vassar College campus. Mr. Grunfeld will read excerpts of this memoir recounting his childhood and adolescence as the son of impoverished Holocaust survivors.
Mihai Grunfeld was born in Cluj, Romania where he lived with his family until he was eighteen. In January 1969 he and his older brother traveled to Czechoslovakia and from there escaped to Austria. This was the beginning of a long journey, which took him to Israel, Italy, Sweden, and Canada in search of a home in the West. Eventually he settled in the United States where he is a professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature at Vassar College.
Leaving – Memories of Romania recounts the narrator’s childhood and adolescence as the son of impoverished Holocaust survivors. His parents are unable to talk about their past, but their lives – and the lives of their two sons – are utterly shaped by it. As he comes of age, the narrator is increasingly conscious of his parents’ profound loneliness, the glaring gaps in his family’s history, and the questions that go unanswered. Gradually the story of an innocent child’s tender, loving relationship with his parents evolves into a powerful tale of complex family dynamics shaped by adolescent experimentation, the daily grind of factory work, anti-Semitism, and big dreams of escaping the politically restrictive system in which he lives.
“…The narrator’s sensitive awareness of the palpable loneliness in this domestic unit, and the empty spaces in his parents’ history, as well as his probing questions, many unanswered, makes this memoir comparable in richness to the writings of Eva Hoffman, Art Spiegelman, and Melvin Jules Bukiet.”
RECEPTION/READING: Saturday, December 6, 4-6pm at Vassar College at the Aula in Ely Hall. Books will be available for purchase.
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