Survivor Café

By Elizabeth Rosner,

Book cover of Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory

Book description

As featured on NPR and in The New York Times, Survivor Cafe is a bold work of nonfiction that examines the ways that survivors, witnesses, and post-war generations talk about and shape traumatic experiences.

As firsthand survivors of many of the twentieth century's most monumental events―the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the Killing…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

3 authors picked Survivor Café as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Back in the late ‘80s, I was at a small gathering of daughters of Holocaust survivors and next to me sat Elizabeth Rosner. As we each said something about our family’s history, Liz read a poem about her survivor father that vibrated with such resonance with me, and I knew I was in the presence of a gifted writer. Rosner went on to publish poetry and novels, and in this work of non-fiction that is lyrically and evocatively written, she confronts personal history and its aftermath while also exploring similar legacies of descendants of other atrocities that have left their…

We should begin to focus as well on the aftermath of the Holocaust. In this acclaimed book, part history, part memoir, Rosner excels at quilting together a tragic story of trauma and recovery. While she explores her parents' history during the Holocaust, she weaves in other events such as 9/11, Hiroshima, and Syria. We learn about the study of epigenetics: that trauma not only affects emotions and thoughts, it invades physical bodies and is passed on to the next generation in our DNA. You won’t look at trauma the same way again.

Rosner offers us a smorgasbord of disparate, yet connected essays of varying lengths, including stories, anecdotes, snippets of memoirs, and musings, tied together by the human experience of trauma. As a child of survivors, Rosner uses some images from her own family’s experiences in the Holocaust, but also weaves in stories, writings, observations, and meetings with other victims of trauma – and their descendants. In my long career in international schools in 6 countries, I have met survivors of trauma-or their descendants- from Vietnam, Cambodia, Armenia, China, and from African-Americans and Native Americans in the USA. It is uncanny to…

Want books like Survivor Café?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like Survivor Café.

Browse books like Survivor Café

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Holocaust, the Buchenwald concentration camp, and genocide?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Holocaust, the Buchenwald concentration camp, and genocide.

The Holocaust Explore 389 books about the Holocaust
The Buchenwald Concentration Camp Explore 6 books about the Buchenwald concentration camp
Genocide Explore 81 books about genocide