A local writer recently published a book chapter in a new collection of first-hand stories about being a child in a warzone, and will read from and sign her work at R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m.
The book, That Mad Game: Growing Up in a Warzone, an anthology of essays from around the globe, features excerpts from an unpublished memoir by local writer Elisabeth H. Breslav.
As a Dutch child during World War II, Breslav lived through the Nazi occupation of Holland and survived the "Hunger Winter," the extension of the occupation to 1945 in parts of Holland that grew from the November 1944 Allied defeat profiled in the epic A Bridge Too Far.
While there are numerous first-person accounts of the Holocaust, there is a dearth of English-language writings about the Nazi occupation of Europe from the perspective of those non-Jews who suffered through it. Theirs is a story that a dwindling number of survivors can tell, simply because of their advancing age.
Published by the independent publishing company Cinco Puntos Press, That Mad Game: Growing Up in a Warzone, an anthology of essays from around the globe, is edited by J.L. Powers, and includes seventeen highly personal, reflective essays focusing on conflicts of recent history including in Vietnam; Cambodia; Bosnia; Rwanda; Juárez, Mexico; El Salvador; South Africa; Afghanistan; Iran; China; Burma; and Thailand.
Cinco Puntos says the book is “perhaps the first collection of essays by writers who describe what it’s like to be a child enduring the insanity of war.” Kirkus summarizes the book as: “War’s most vulnerable victims, stepping up to have their say.”
Breslav has lived in Stratford since 2003. She lived in Easton from 1959 to 2003.
While she is a columnist for the Oronoque Villager and has published other articles in several local newspapers and magazines, this is Breslav’s first contribution to a book. As is true for many aspiring memoirists, this success came after years of seeking a publisher for her full memoirs. She hopes to publish those memoirs in the future.
In addition to her writing, Breslav continues to be active in the community. She was president of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Bridgeport Area Branch; president of the former Alliance Francaise du Comte de Fairfield; and served on the Scholarship Commission of the Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation and Fairfield County Community Foundation.
With roots on the U.S./Mexico border, Cinco Puntos publishes “great books which make a difference in the way you see the world.” The Texas-based independent, family-owned publisher was founded in 1985 and has published some 130 books.
The Feb. 23 event is free, but registration is required. R.J. Julia Booksellers is at 768 Boston Post Rd. in Madison. For more information call (203)245-3959 or visit www.rjjulia.com.
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