Voices of the Diaspora offers, for the first time, representative works by major Jewish women writers from Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Russia. These stories and essays, written over the last twenty-five years, speak to the challenges confronting the post-Shoah generations of Jews living in Europe: a need to commemorate the lives extinguished in the camps; a desire to repair a ruptured culture; and a determination to reclaim a Jewish identity resistant to assimilation and the threats of anti-Semitism.
At the same time, these writers address themes specific to their national contexts. Berlin-born Barbara Honigmann questions the possibility of Jewish life in the country responsible for the "final solution." Maghreb-born Marlène Amar and Reina Roffé address the experiences of displacement and emancipation as Sephardic women in Western, post-colonial societies. Clara Sereni describes how Jews in post-Fascist Italy reemerged with a self-assertiveness that troubled a society that had found comfort in amnesia. Ludmila Ulitskaya portrays a Jewish girlhood on the eve of Stalin's death empowered by the religious traditions of Jewish resistance.
From the unique perspective of women's literary voices, this volume reveals to English-speaking readers the extraordinary vivacity and diversity of European Jewry, and introduces them to a new generation of women writers.