This didn't seem to worry two of my three thesis readers. But the third did express a reservation: "Too much grandparents and too much Holocaust."
My faith in Henry James notwithstanding (recall the Jamesian dictum to allow the writer his/her donnée and criticize only what is made of it), that reader's comment lingered (obviously!), and its impact wasn't fully assuaged even when other, equally wise authority figures told me otherwise. During the past several days, however, the old warning has finally lost some of its sting. And for that, I am grateful to author Deborah Eisenberg.
Eisenberg, who has earned a mention here on the blog before, has a volume of collected stories out now. The release has prompted a profile on Tablet magazine, which begins as follows:
“I believe that people are what happened to their grandparents,” Deborah Eisenberg says.... “I’m not sure I can articulate this,” she continues, “but I’m in the generation that was brought up close enough to the war, the Holocaust, the camps, and yet was protected, to a degree that is amazing to think about now, in a world of synthetic safety. And I would say there was a current of anxiety that any child would have picked up on, probably continuing for several generations, underneath the very, very, very tense kind of perfect world in which I grew up.”Thank you, Deborah Eisenberg, for somehow--in a way I'm not sure I can articulate--validating my book, and the path that brought me to it.