Sunday, February 6, 2011
Gated Grief = Giveaway
In Gated Grief, Leila Levinson shares with readers a glimpse into what her father, Dr. Reuben Levinson witnessed, while treating patients in concentration camps. As well as life for Leila growing up a daughter of a GI Concentration Camp Liberator.
Be warned as the pictures in this book are not for the faint at heart. Some are really hard to stomach only for the fact that they are images of real events that took place to many innocent people. I have been fascinated by books on the subject of the Holocaust. I can remember reading The Hiding Place and The Diary of Anne Frank. Both good books. What made these books so good was the raw emotions that the authors were not afraid to show by sharing the ordeals that they had to go through to survive.
While Gated Grief does touch on some of this. What I took away from this book was that this book was also a discovery of Leila Levinson finding herself and her heritage and who her father was. Hearing stories from some of the other people whom Mrs. Levinson interviewed were interesting. Gated Grief may be a little on the bleak side but this book is also about hope and not being afraid to remember the past and the many who died.
In Gated Grief: The Daughter of a GI Camp Liberator Discovers a Legacy of Trauma (Cable Publishing, January 2011), Levinson – founder of the website veteranschildren.com – begins a crucial conversation between veterans and their families.
Inspired by her father's shocking Holocaust camp photographs, Levinson explores the link between the liberators' trauma and the way it affected members of their family when they returned home.
“I did not want to admit that my father had been traumatized,” says Levinson. “Because I did not want to admit that I had been. And yet – looking at his photographs, their blurred focus and distorted angles, I knew his hands had been quivering when he took them. He came home a changed, stripped-away man. As a child, I craved a warmth that he just couldn't give.”
Levinson wrote a grant proposal to seek out other veteran liberators, as well as their children, for interviews. Along with never-before-seen photographs taken by Levinson’s father and other veterans, Gated Grief records their stories. A telling link binds them all: None of the veterans knew how to open up to their families about their trauma. Or how to begin the essential process of emotional healing.
“For the liberators, time compressed and collapsed every smell and sight of entering the camp into a deathless alternate reality that has co-existed alongside their post-war lives,” says Levinson. “The lamination of traumatic memories encases them, seals them away, taking away all emotions but melancholy.”
With all Iraq War soldiers coming home by the end of 2011, Gated Grief is an urgent and timely read. Its aim is to build a bridge between veterans and their children – a bridge of stories.
LEILA LEVINSON created and taught a Holocaust literature course at St. Edwards University for six years. In 2005, she visited the same concentration camp in Germany that her father helped to liberate. She now lives in Austin, Texas with her family. For more information, please visit http://www.veteranschildren.com/
I have a copy of this book to giveaway. Open to US and Canada only. Please leave a comment with your email address and I will pick a winner February 13th