Reviews and Press

First Reviews

“Among memoirs of the Holocaust, Ellen Friedman’s The Seven: A Family Holocaust Story is distinguished by its unusually vivid, emotionally engaging, sharply observed prose.  It is a pleasure to read even when what we are reading is harrowing and deeply disturbing, a tribute to the integrity of the author bearing witness to her remarkably courageous, brilliantly portrayed relatives.  Indeed, here is a ‘family’ story that is both painfully specific and universal.” —Joyce Carol Oates, author of more than 70 books, including novels, short story collections, poetry volumes, plays, essays, and criticism, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde. Among her many honors are the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and the National Book Award. Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

“Combining careful research, personal courage, and a novelist’s sense of detail, Ellen Friedman’s family history restores a sense of colorful humanity to years that we recall in ash gray, while at the same time providing us with a serious portrayal of the motives and reasons of those who fled and those who did not, and what survival meant for a family one, two, and three generations down the line.  No book in English provides such a careful rendering of the experience of Jews who fled or were deported east to the Soviet Union, people who were after all the largest group of Jews from Poland to survive the Holocaust.”—Timothy Snyder, the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale and Committee on Conscience member at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Timothy Snyder is also the author of several books including Bloodlands–winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, Hannah Arendt Prize, and Leipzig Book Prize–and his newest: On Tyranny.

“A fascinating account of a story about what happened to the Polish Jews who did not perish in Nazi camps, but survived in the Russian Gulags and in the distant provinces. It brings to life a personal account that reflects my own family history. It is beautifully written, gripping, and should be read by all those interested in the history of the twentieth century.”—Daniel Libeskind, an international figure in architecture and urban design, Daniel Libeskind is renowned for his ability to evoke cultural memory in buildings. In 1989, he won the international competition to build the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and in 2003 he won the competition to create the masterplan to rebuild the World Trade Center.

 “Using oral histories conducted with the main protagonists, the author skillfully guides the reader through the journeys that each of the main characters took during the war years and through to their lives in the United States after World War II.  This is an important volume at a time when the task of collecting the stories of survivors has become increasingly urgent.”—David Slucki, author of The International Jewish Labor Bund after 1945: Toward a Global History and Assistant Professor in the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program at the College of Charleston.