Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Special Feature: Interview with Erin Einhorn, author of The Pages In Between

The Pages in Between: A Holocaust Legacy of Two Families, One Home, by Erin Einhorn. Published 2008 by Touchstone.

Click here to buy The Pages in Between from your local IndieBound-affiliated independent bookseller.

And click here to read my review of Ms. Einhorn's wonderful book.

What challenges did you face in the creation of The Pages in Between? How did your family feel about turning these experiences into something for publication?

It can be very difficult to write about real people. I feared at every stage that I would tread on someone’s feelings or that by printing my version of events, I would trample everyone else’s. As a result, the book might not be quite as candid as it might have been if all of the characters were dead (or fictional). On the other hand, I wanted to write an honest account of what happened to me as I confronted my mother’s past – and the many ways that that past was still making demands on the present. As a result, I have, in fact, angered some people who appear in the book. My family has largely been welcoming of the book, or at least I think they have. (Then again, they may all be working on their books of their own to dispute my version!)

As you did your research, did you learn anything really interesting or surprising that didn't make it into the book?

Many, many things have happened over the past 8 years as I’ve tried to manage the consequences of finding the family that saved my mother. There are, of course, countless fascinating details and perspectives that just didn’t make into the book. I wanted the book to be fluid and accessible and if I had included everything, it would have been far too much of a slog.

There were things I learned years after I returned from Poland -- like how the photo my mother had given me of herself at three with her father and Honorata Skowronska (the image on the cover of the book) -- was not the only print. When I asked one of my cousins to send me old family photos that I could use in my book as it was getting ready to be published, she sent me her copy of that picture. She had a copy on which my grandfather had written "my daughter," in English, on the back.

Who do you feel the book is for?

I really wrote the book for everyone. We all have a family history. We all come from somewhere and we all inherit a folklore that means something to us, that’s a part of who are and who we are trying to become. Anyone who attempts to go below the surface is bound to make surprising discoveries, as I did. I wanted everyone to think differently about the stories they think they know. I also just wanted to tell what I thought was a pretty interesting story about real people in extraordinary circumstances.

The Pages in Between has been making the rounds on the blogosphere; what response have you had from readers?

I’m told I’ve made a lot of people cry! I’m actually really proud of that because I love a good cry – it’s very cathartic – and because I was crying when I wrote certain chapters. This was a very personal story for me and it was difficult to put it out in the world for strangers to read. Knowing that the tears I poured into the writing came through for readers makes it all seem worthwhile.

Thank you Erin for a wonderful interview!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for a great guest post. I'm sure that book has made a lot of people cry.

Unknown said...

thank you for the post. I saw this book the other day at BN. Thanks for the interview.

Anna said...

What a great interview! I'm expecting this book in the mail any day now, and I'm really looking forward to reading it!

Diary of an Eccentric

Ali said...

Great interview! This book seems to have some similar themes to Ariel Sabar's My Father's Paradise, and yet be completely different. Cool.

Tara said...

I really enjoyed this book so was so happy to see this interview with Erin Einhorn here! Great job! I would love to know if the situation with the family in Poland has changed at all from what is stated in the book.

Anonymous said...

I have seen this book around at the stores and heard so much from bloggers. This interview has succeeded to sell the book to me. I want to read this now!

Serena said...

Another book I would love to read. Sounds like a heartwrenching book..but I'm game. Thanks for another great interview.

Shana said...

Great interview, Erin & Marie. I'll have the tissues ready when I read this one.

I agree that a good cry can be very cleansing and cathartic. It's been a while, so I'm due one!


Unknown said...

Since I don't have a personal email I can write you I decided to leave a comment here. If you are interested Diana will be posting soon on my blog. Also would you like a copy of her book. I would really like to give you one if you would like. Does your community have a Jewish Book Festival this month? If they are who are they promoting? Are Temple is too small to support it. I am curious to see what Jewish authors are hot this year.
Does your temple have a website?


Marie Cloutier said...

Susan, I just sent you an email. ;-)