Aftermath: Coming of Age on Three Continents
A memoir depicting a nomadic childhood in the aftermath of the Holocaust
From the foothills of the Himalayas to America, one family’s search for home spanned four countries across three continents
New York, NY–Acclaimed writer Annette Libeskind Berkovits returns to the literary scene with her latest title “Aftermath: Coming of Age on Three Continents” (September 13, 2022). Releasing from Amsterdam Publishers, one of the world’s largest publishers of Holocaust memoirs, “Aftermath” traces Annette’s nomadic childhood in the wake of World War Two. Traversing four countries across three continents, young Annette senses that her family is different from others but she’s too young to understand her parents’ wartime trauma. She must find inner resources to deal with the onset of teenage angst, as well as linguistic and cultural challenges.
The book’s three colored parts aptly capture the sensations, emotions and experiences of each new home. In Red, readers glean a sense of her early life in Soviet Kyrgyzstan and Communist Poland, where latent antisemitism leaves an imprint on her psyche. In Blue, Annette revels in finally being a part of the Jewish people and in the blueness of the Mediterranean. But soon her world is shaken. She must leave this beloved place for alien America if the family is to remain intact. Separation from her beloved father, or from her nation? Such a difficult decision piled on top of normal adolescence is almost too much to bear, but Annette soldiers on and performs a seeming miracle: speaking no English, she gets herself admitted to one of the most selective public high schools in America just weeks after her arrival in what is truly a new world. Now she’ll have to make the Green of the Statue of Liberty keep its promise of a new life.
Complete with personal photos, Annette’s masterful retelling of her youth showcases the alternating pain, joy and resilience necessary to build a new life, time and again. A bonus of this engaging story is seeing Annette’s younger brother Daniel Libeskind, now one of the world’s most acclaimed architects, as he partners with his sister in their childhood escapades. A deeply affecting story of the ways children subtly absorb family trauma, “Aftermath” is also a triumphant and inspirational tale of the resilience of the immigrant spirit.