I’ve been reading a remarkable and thoughtful new collection of short stories recently – a collection written by our very own contributing editor, Erika Dreifus. Her book Quiet Americans contains seven stories inspired by the experiences of her paternal grandparents, German Jews who immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1930s, escaping persecution by the Nazis.
Erika, who is also a contributing editor for Fiction Writers Review, a blogger and the editor/publisher of The Practicing Writer newsletter (and this is in addition to her day job at The City University of New York!), skillfully honors her paternal grandparents with this collection. Threads and themes from her characters connect throughout the stories, giving the stories continuity and a deeply personal feel. In reading the book, I felt like I learned something about Erika and about the Jewish experience as well. From a writer’s perspective, these are stories to be savored; from a human perspective, they are stories to be reflected upon.
If you’d like to learn more about Erika and her stories, she’ll be doing a reading on Sunday, April 10, in New York as a guest on the Sunday Salon reading series. You can also catch up with her online on Tuesday, April 12, when the Jewish Book Council’s Twitter Book Club hosts Erika for an online discussion of her book from 12:30 to 1:10 p.m. EST. To follow along on Twitter, see @JewishBook, @ErikaDreifus and #JBCBooks.
Quiet Americans is available through Erika’s website. In addition, the book is also available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, indie bookstores and in a Kindle version. Erika is donating a portion of the proceeds from Quiet Americans to The Blue Card, which provides assistance to survivors of Nazi persecution and their families living in the U.S.
-- Martha Lundin, editorial associate for The Writer
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