From Rebecca Honig Friedman's interview with Joanna Hershon, author of The German Bride--“a stylish account of a German Jewish young woman’s often brutal odyssey to the post–Civil War American Southwest” (Publishers Weekly):
JEWESS: What drew you to write about this oft-neglected period in history? How typical is Eva’s story of the period?Learn more about the author and her work at Joanna Hershon's website.
JOANNA HERSHON: I was looking to write a novel that required research but I didn’t know about what, exactly. One day I heard a friend make an off-handed comment: “My ancestors were Jewish cowboys,” and I was hooked. I started researching his family, which led to years of reading about Jewish pioneers in America. What is typical about Eva’s story are the cultural details of her family’s home, the facts of a German Jewish merchant coming home to Germany to find a German Jewish bride, and that pregnancy and childbirth are central struggles in her life. The specifics of her situation — her secret past, her husband’s profligate behavior — I can’t say any of that can be found in any historical records.
Why did you want to write a novel that required research? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just make stuff up?
I was interested in...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: The German Bride.
My Book, The Movie: The German Bride.