Stories tagged childhood

Saratoga Rhapsody

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“Time roars with our longing for home” (Nelly Sachs, poet and Holocaust survivor)


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"You think too much," my father would say when I got depressed at sixteen, the same age my mother had been in Auschwitz. "That's your problem. You have to keep busy.

Saratoga Rhapsody 3. Dreams of Spas

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“He was killed by the Nazis,” she often said, at other times claiming, “I don’t know what happened to him,” or “He ran off to Austria,” or “He just disappeared.”

They Laugh When You Cry - II

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Tattoos of viper skulls shone on the men’s faces. Viper neck bones glistened on their cheeks, viper tongues flicked blood in the shape of tears and crying eyes, in the shape of crosses.

Saratoga Rhapsody 4. Grief

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To my mother, who yearned for own mother, Magda was a constant irritant. With Magda absent, my mind drifted to Saratoga. But my mother’s reveries carried her to her pre-war life with her own mother.

Saratoga Rhapsody 5. Chickens and Eggs

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The farm, teaming with life, seemed empty without Magda’s riveting of our attention into the present moment with one hysterical overreaction in melodious Hungarian after another.

The Man Who Defied Gravity

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Let us be stranded in the Andes and have to eat human flesh or at least toothpaste to survive! Let there be an earthquake! Let there be a flood! Let there be a tornado, a new ice age, an invasion from Mars. Only: let me survive.

Alien Child

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"Where did you get all this hatred? We don't hate anyone."

Refiner's Fire

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It was the first time I saw his hands tremble. He was looking at me, waiting for an answer. He had bought a new shirt and tie and was wondering if it looked good with his suit jacket. It didn't. But it was his hands I couldn't take my eyes off of as he fumbled with his…

Soup for Six Million

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I will never reach my goal.

The Bridge

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And the urban sprawl doesn’t hesitate. All around me, I taste the aftermath of bricks, dust and dirt, freshly laid concrete slabs.


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the only safe place for him was anywhere he and Barkley could huddle,

No Sanctuary 2. Night

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My mother still told everyone she would never forgive him for stealing her only surviving sister to Tangiers.

No Sanctuary 3. Bathroom

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These were definitely the two worst ways to die.

No Sanctuary 4.Gas Chamber

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I felt as likely to die in childhood as so many family members before me.