Saturday, November 4, 2017

Georgia Hunter

Georgia Hunter is the author of We Were the Lucky Ones. From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: This novel was based on your own family’s story, which you only found out about as a teenager. Can you describe how you learned about it, and the impact it had on you?

A: I was very close with my grandfather and my grandmother. When I was growing up, we lived a mile apart, and spent a lot of time together. He died when I was 14. He was very sick the last few years of his life. I look back on, how did I miss the little signs [about his background]?

At 15, my English teacher assigned us a research project. We were tasked with interviewing a relative to learn about our roots. The goal was to learn something about ourselves. With my grandfather’s memory so fresh, I sat down with my grandmother and in that interview I learned he was not born in America but in Poland, and he was from a family of Holocaust survivors.

[I didn’t know] the Jewish piece of my history. It was a piece of his past—he wanted to fit into his neighborhood; he was the only Jew in the neighborhood. My grandmother was a Presbyterian from the South. He would coordinate trips to Brazil [to see his family] with Passover, but he wouldn’t make a big deal of it.

I’ll never forget that hourlong interview…it sparked a lot of curiosity and questions. I was not feeling defensive. It was shocking, but not in a negative way, but in a way of...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue