JCC Vancouver Jewish Book Festival

Sunday, November 26, 1:00pm at the WRSSJCC


“Sharon Hart-Green writes passionately and intelligently about trauma, history and the true meaning of home. This novel is poignant and compassionate, vividly evoked and deeply satisfying.” —Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans

Set in the aftermath of World War II, Come Back For Me is the story of Artur Mandelkorn, a young Hungarian Holocaust survivor desperately searching for his beloved sister, Manya. Seemingly light-years away in time and place, the tranquil life of teenager Suzy Kohn in 1968 Toronto is shattered by the sudden death of her beloved uncle Charles.  In a panoramic tale bound by love and understanding, by loss and memory, and by secrets and silences, Artur and Suzy’s stories come together in Israel after the Six-Day War.  With heartfelt humanity, Come Back For Me evocatively illustrates both the scars left by tragedy and the possibilities for healing.

SHARON HART-GREEN has taught Hebrew and Yiddish literature at the University of Toronto. Her debut novel Come Back For Me was chosen as the inaugural fiction offering of The New Jewish Press. The author of two earlier works of non-fiction, Hart-Green’s short stories, poems and translations appeared in a variety of publications.

ENDRE FARKAS / Never, Again

The son of Holocaust survivors, ENDRE FARKAS was born in Hungary. He escaped with his parents during the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and settled in Montreal.  A poet, play-wright and novelist, Farkas has published nine books of poetry and has had two plays produced. 

Set in post-war Communist Hungary, Never, Again is the story of seven-year-old Tomi Wolfstein, the son of Holocaust survivors who never spoke about their past in the concentration camps.

Most of the narrative is told from Tomi’s perspective as he attempts understand the events leading to the Hungarian uprising.  Interwoven into the escape story are flashbacks of his parents’ World War II experiences — stories of labour and concentration camps, of survival and escape.  The book is Tomi’s journey from innocence to experience.

Apparently, the phrase “Never Again” first appeared on handmade signs put up by inmates at Buchenwald in April 1945, shortly after the camp was liberated. “Never Again” became the call of remembrance, a declaration and defiance of survivors.  Since then, however, the phrase has been used after each subsequent genocide, and “Never, Again” has become a declaration of the world’s failure to prevent the horror from being repeated.

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