Daniel Mendelsohn, whose autobiographical book The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million won a National Book Critics Circle Award last week, will speak today at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Mendelsohn's book chronicles his quest to uncover the fate of his great-uncle Shmiel Jager; Shmiel's wife, Ester; and their daughters: Lorka, Frydka, Ruchele and Bronia. The six were living in the small town of Bolechow, in what is now Ukraine, during World War II. All six perished in the Holocaust. The search eventually takes Mendelsohn to Bolechow, where he seeks out anyone who might know not only what happened to his relatives, but where it happened, and how.
"In its own vast circling loops," reviewer Louise Steinman wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "The Lost mediates between history and the present, the living and the dead, between the story being told and the emotional life of the storyteller." Writing in The Washington Post, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel called The Lost "a vast, highly colorful tapestry ... a remarkable personal narrative, rigorous in its search for truth, at once tender and exciting."
Mendelsohn is the Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College in New York and a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books.
Daniel Mendelsohn's talk is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the museum, 15 Lloyd St. Admission is free. Information: 410-732-6400 or jhsm.org.