Meryl Ain, "Shadows We Carry" (Sparkspress, 2023)


Meryl Ain's Shadows We Carry (Sparkspress, 2023) is a follow-up to the author’s 2020 novel, The Takeaway Men, focuses on fraternal twins Bronka and JoJo Lubinski, now in college and figuring out what to do with their lives. Beginning with the assassination of President Kennedy, we watch the sisters navigate social upheaval, family expectations, and all the usual aspects of growing up, but they were born in a DP camp after WW2 and are children of Holocaust Survivors, now referred to as “Second - Generation Survivors.” They’ve inherited their parents’ guilt (their mother lives a Jewish life but never converted) and emotional trauma (their father’s first family was killed by Nazis) but they live in 1960s and 70s New York and also have to navigate relationships, career dreams, and social expectations for women of that generation. Then Branka, who dreams of becoming a serious journalist but has been relegated to the food column, is asked to cover a neo-Nazi protest, and her eyes are opened to the presence of Hitler acolytes in this country.

Meryl Ain is a writer, author, podcaster, and career educator. She received a BA in Political Science from Queens College, holds an MA in Teacher History from Columbia University, and earned a doctorate in Educational Administration from Hofstra University. She has worked as a journalist and her articles and essays were published in many publications, but most of her career was spent working as a high school history teacher and administrator. Her award-winning post-Holocaust debut novel, The Takeaway Men, was published in 2020. She is the host of the podcast, People of the Book, and the founder of the Facebook group, Jews Love To Read! which has more than 4,000 members. Her novels are a result of her life-long quest to learn more about the Holocaust, a thirst that was first triggered by reading The Diary of Anne Frank in the sixth grade. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys meeting with groups to discuss her books. She's a lifetime member of Hadassah, a member of The International Advisory Board for Holocaust Survivor Day, a supporter of UJA-Federation, as well as Holocaust centers and causes. Meryl lives in New York with her husband, Stewart. Her greatest joy is spending time with their six grandchildren.

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