Lit Gloss

Erin Einhorn

By Liz Spikol
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Sep. 17, 2008

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Former Philadelphia reporter Erin Einhorn always struck me as a no-nonsense kind of gal, the type who'd toss back a couple drinks with you at the Pen & Pencil club, grumble about city politics and go back to her desk and write something brisk and true. She held her own at the Inky/Daily News boys' club without a problem. She does more than that in her remarkable new book, The Pages in Between: A Holocaust Legacy of Two Families, One Home. Einhorn's mother Irene was sheltered from the Nazis as a small child by a Polish family. As an adult, Irene is reluctant to talk about this, but Einhorn returns to Poland to find the family who saved her mother's life. You can imagine what comes next: teary embraces, dog-eared photos passed back and forth, Einhorn's pounding heart as she makes thrilling genealogical discoveries. Except this is real life, not a Lifetime special. What Einhorn inadvertently embarks upon is an emotionally fraught journey by a reporter who looks beyond the personal for answers. As she travels through Poland, Sweden and the U.S., Einhorn wavers between big-hearted vulnerability and frustrated peevishness, always endearingly self-aware. Determined to "fact-check the family folklore," she teaches herself Polish, learns obscurities of property law, tries to heal ethnic tensions, attempts to have a romance and copes with death. And she remains constantly engaged by historical concerns: Can Jews and Poles ever get along? Must Jewish historical legacy be only about the Holocaust? Can being someone other than who you are--whether through hiding or conversion--really transform you? Book signing, Sat., Sept. 20, 7pm. Barnes & Noble, 835 Old York Rd., Jenkintown. 215.886.5366.

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