We Must Not Think of Ourselves (Paperback)

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Description


From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Grodstein, a story inspired by a little-known piece of the history of the Jewish occupants of the Warsaw Ghetto in World War II. Called a "masterpiece" and chosen as a Today show Read with Jenna book club pick (Madeline Miller).

On a November day in 1940, teacher Adam Paskow becomes a prisoner in the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Jews of the city are cut off from their former lives and held captive by Nazi guards to await an uncertain fate. Weeks later, he is approached by a mysterious figure with a surprising request: Would he join a secret group of archivists working to preserve the truth of what is happening inside the ghetto's walls? 

Adam agrees and begins taking testimonies from his students, friends, and neighbors. Their stories form a portrait of endurance in a world where no choices are good ones. One of the people Adam interviews is his flatmate Sala Wiskoff, who is stoic, determined, and funny—and married with two children. Over the months of their confinement, in the presence of her family, they fall in love. As they desperately carve out intimacy, their relationship feels both impossible and vital, their connection keeping them alive. But when Adam discovers a possible escape from the Ghetto, he is faced with an unbearable choice: whom can he save, and at what cost ? 

Inspired by the real testimony-gathering project with the code name Oneg Shabbat, and told with immediacy and heart, We Must Not Think of Ourselves is a piercing story of love, determination, and sacrifice.

About the Author


Lauren Grodstein is the author of Our Short History, The Washington Post Book of the Year The Explanation for Everything, and the New York Times-bestselling A Friend of the Family, among other works.  Her stories, essays, and articles have appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies, and have been translated into French, German, Chinese, and Italian, among other languages.  Her work has also appeared in Elle, The New York Times, Refinery29, Salon.com, Barrelhouse, Post Road, and The Washington Post. She is a professor of English at Rutgers University-Camden, where she teaches in the MFA program in creative writing.
 

Praise For…


"This book is a masterpiece: profound, gripping, urgent, and beautiful. In its clear-eyed and devastating portrait of the past, Grodstein invites us into the present; to bear witness to the lives that have come before us, while finding meaning and courage for our own." —Madeline Miller, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Circe and The Song of Achilles

“In We Must Not Think of Ourselves, Lauren Grodstein writes with such a blazing commitment to the truth of the Warsaw Ghetto that sometimes I had to stop reading and catch my breath. But in the midst of the brutality, she clears a path for the parallel stories of love and decency. Make no mistake: this is a heartbreaking portrait of a dark moment. But this novel shimmers with light.”

Lauren Fox, New York Times bestselling author of Send for Me

We Must Not Think of Ourselves is one of those rare books—beautifully written, seamlessly constructed, quietly devastating—that manages to tell an old story in a new way with no pyrotechnics beyond perfect storytelling, including an ending that will stay with me always. It is far and away my favorite novel of the year, of many years, and I know I will be recommending it to readers forevermore.—Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of One Two Three


Product Details
ISBN: 9781643756363
ISBN-10: 1643756362
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: October 29th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English

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