Faculty Book: Nancy K. Miller
Nancy K. Miller
What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past
(University of Nebraska Press, 2011)
Winner of the 2012 Jewish Journal Book Prize
After her father’s death, Nancy K. Miller discovered a minuscule family archive: a handful of photographs, an unexplained land deed, a postcard from Argentina, unidentified locks of hair. Searching for their meaning, Miller followed their traces from one distant relative to another. Her story, unlike the many family memoirs focused on the Holocaust, takes us back earlier in history to the world of pogroms and mass emigrations at the turn of the twentieth century. Searching for roots as a middle-aged orphan and an assimilated Jewish New Yorker, Miller finds herself asking unexpected questions: Why do I know so little about my family? How can I understand myself when I don’t know my past? Miller learns that the hidden lives of her ancestors reveal as much about the present as they do about the past. Nancy K. Miller is a distinguished professor of comparative literature, English, and French at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: JAN 30, 2012