Friday, November 29, 2019

Jennifer Cody Epstein

Jennifer Cody Epstein's latest book is Wunderland: A Novel.

From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: You write that Wunderland was inspired in part by a piece in The New Yorker. What was the article about, and how did it lead to this book?

A: It was a 2013 article that my husband happened upon in The New Yorker, about a new U.S. translation of a somewhat obscure German book.

The article--by a U.S. writer who was also the publisher/editor of that translation (Helen Epstein, of Plunkett Lake Press) --recounted how Melita Maschmann, a former Hitler Youth enthusiast, had in her 1963 memoir Account Rendered written an intimate account of her rise and fall as a national socialist.

It's a confessionary account that takes the shape of a long letter to Maschmann’s childhood best friend, a girl who found herself classified as a Mischling--"mixed-race"--under Hitler’s race laws at roughly the same time Maschmann joined the girl’s branch of the Hitler Youth.

That story sparked both my interest and my imagination.

I’d known for years that I wanted to write about the Holocaust—not about the monstrous mechanics of the Final Solution (so many other authors have already done that, some far better than I could hope to), but something that would...[read on]
Visit Jennifer Cody Epstein's website.

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The Page 69 Test: Wunderland.

--Marshal Zeringue