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April 2020 will mark the 80th Anniversary of the fall of France to Nazi Germany, and the establishment of the provisional government of the Vichy state, a puppet of the Axis regime, to carry out the arrest and deportation of all Jewish civilians. In the course of her writing residency over a three-year period in the village of Auvillar, the author learns of acts of bravery and rebellion on the part of several of the Jewish families and individuals who risked their lives to save innocent refugees and children orphaned by the Holocaust, and gradually gains their trust enough for them to share the details of their harrowing experiences of rebellion and resistance. The author in turn discovers truths about her own life and Jewish heritage in America, which she now sees in the light of the bravery and selflessness of those who elected to act and not stand by idly in the face of oppression and genocide.
About the Author
Sandell Morse’s nonfiction has been noted in The Best American Essays series, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and won the Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize.
"The Spiral Shell is an evocative, probing, heartfelt memoir, as rich in character and detail as the best fiction. There are all kinds of reckonings here: personal, historical, spiritual. There is a vivid present as well as a vividly imagined past, a voice that is at turns charming, grieving, outraged and wry. Sandell Morse illuminates with wisdom and grace Eli Wiesel's timeless injunction that, ‘For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.’" — Alice McDermott, Author, A Bigamist's Daughter, Charming Billy