ACFNY SUPPORTED | BOOK PRESENTATION
I BELONG TO VIENNA
TUESDAY, SEP 01 2020 - THURSDAY, DEC 31 2020
I BELONG TO VIENNA
by Anna Goldenberg
transl. by Alta L Price
New Vessel Press, New York, 2020
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In autumn 1942, Anna Goldenberg’s great-grandparents and one of their sons are deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Hans, their elder son, survives by hiding in an apartment in the middle of Nazi-controlled Vienna. But this is no Anne Frank-like existence; teenage Hans passes time in the municipal library and buys standing room tickets to the Vienna State Opera. He never sees his family again. Goldenberg reconstructs this unique story in magnificent reportage. She also portrays Vienna’s undying allure - although they tried living in the United States after World War Two, both grandparents eventually returned to the Austrian capital. The author, too, has returned to her native Vienna after living in New York herself, and her fierce attachment to her birthplace enlivens her engrossing biographical history. A probing tale of heroism, resilience, identity and belonging, marked by a surprising freshness as a new generation comes to terms with history's darkest era.
As part of Trafika Europe's "Women in Translation podcast Series" Director Andrew Singer moderated a talk with Anna Goldenberg and Alta Price. >>LINK TO THE PODCAST
Here's a video excerpt, translated by Alta L. Price, from this probing memoir of heroism, resilience, identity and belonging.
"Absorbing ... What distinguishes Goldenberg’s book from much of the vast library of Holocaust literature is its distance from the campaign to exterminate European Jewry. It is the story of a young woman’s attempt to make sense of history more than it is a direct evocation of the roundups, cattle cars, and gas chambers ... Alta L. Price’s smooth rendition will leave Americans fascinated by the cruelty and loyalty born in the city of Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, and Anna Goldenberg." -- The Forward
"A meticulous evocation of an unknown Austria, Anna Goldenberg’s affecting family memoir brings to life the story of Viennese Jews who decided not to flee their homes after the Anschluss. This salutary tribute forces us to reflect on what it means to try and live a 'normal life' in the throes of a political nightmare." - George Prochnik
"Anna Goldenberg brings the memory of her grandparents to life and sweeps us away with her portrayal of bravery and endurance. This is an important and wonderful book." - Doron Rabinovici
"Goldenberg has written a big, important, quiet and disturbing book. It is ruthless and precise, honest and inquisitive, showing the bright side of a family’s fate as well as the dark." - Falter
Anna Goldenberg, born in 1989 in Vienna, studied psychology at the University of Cambridge and journalism at Columbia University. She worked at the Jewish newspaper The Forward in New York before returning to Vienna where she now writes as a freelance journalist.
Alta L. Price translates from Italian and German, and was awarded the 2013 Gutekunst Prize. Her publications include work by Corrado Augias, Dana Grigorcea, Jürgen Holstein, and Martin Mosebach. She is co-curator of the 2020-2021 edition of Festival Neue Literatur.
Image Credits: Donelly Marks (Alta L. Price), www.corn.at/Deuticke (Anna Goldenberg)