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I’ve had a lifelong fascination with books and films about World War II and the Holocaust because I am a first generation American whose parents uniquely escaped the fate of millions (my father escaped Vienna in 1938). Along with historical documents published by the Holocaust Museum, and other Internet sources, many books helped me better understand the nuances of the war and the Holocaust, and illuminated details about Poland, Vienna and Jewish life at this time. I read numerous novels and memoirs about this period before even contemplating Tasa’s Song. During my writing of the novel, I referenced the more instructive books, focused on customs and history, and referred back to others in my personal library.

I found the following titles to be among the most informative or inspiring as I crafted my own novel, Tasa’s Song.


The Zookeeper’s Wife, A War Story by Diane Ackerman
Memories of My Life in a Polish Village 1930-1949 by Toby Knobel Fluek
Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
The Nazi Officer’s Wife, How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith Hahn-Beer
Shtetl: The Life and Death of A Small Town and the World of Polish Jews by Eva Hoffman
Ten Green Bottles: The True Story of One Family’s Journey from War-Torn Austria to the Ghettos of Shanghai by Vivian Jeannette Kaplan
Polyn: Jewish Life in the Old Country by Alter Kacyzne
Schindler’s List by Thomas Kenneally
Sala’s Gift, My Mother’s Holocaust Story by Ann Kirschner
All But My Life by Gerda Weissman Klein
The Eagle Unbowed, Poland and the Poles in the Second World War by Halik Kochanski
In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
MAUS, A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman
THE WAR, An Intimate History 1941-1945 by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns


Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Third Man by Graham Greene
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrows
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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