In A Jewish Mother from Berlin, Martha Jadassohn's seemingly conventional life plunges into chaos after a brutal attack on her only child. As Martha assumes the self-imposed mission of combing Berlin for the man who raped five-year-old Ursa, she encounters Berlin's staid and seamy sides - a world peopled with working-class weekend gardeners, middle-class cultural snobs, transvestites, a former Spanish dancer turned hostess with a secret, and a Jewish lawyer who clings rigidly to the rule of law. During her harrowing quest, Martha becomes obsessed with a handsome, shallow "Aryan" type in a relationship that intensifies her solitude and alienation. Kolmar peels away the layers of Martha's outward restraint to bare the soul of a woman slowly shattered by a callous society in which Jews are outcasts and women preyed upon. Another heroine on a quest for love and self-expression propels the lyrical novella Susanna, a finely wrought psychological portrait of an outsider. The ethereally beautiful Susanna sets out on a tragic search for her lost lover, only to find herself floundering in a world where everyone's perceptions clash with her own.
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Published July 1, 1997
by Holmes & Meier Pub.
Literature & Fiction.