Displaced Persons

Displaced Persons

3.21 (324 ratings by Goodreads)
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"This is an amazing novel. The writing is piercing and clear, and the humanity of the author and her characters will inhabit my thoughts for years to come."
--Anne Roiphe, National Book Award-winning author of Fruitful

An astonishing tale of grief and anger, memory and survival, Displaced Persons marks the arrival of a supremely gifted new literary talent, Ghita Schwarz. Schwarz's powerful story of a group of Holocaust survivors--"displaced persons"--struggling to remake their lives and cope with the stigma of their pasts in the wake of the monumental Nazi horror is beautiful, tragic, moving, and unforgettable, chronicling the lives of ordinary people who have suffered under extraordinary circumstances.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 340 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 25.4mm | 204.12g
  • William Morrow & Company
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0061881775
  • 9780061881770
  • 1,070,736

Review quote

In her warm portrayal of the postwar highs and lows experienced by Pavel and his family, Schwarz aptly evokes the emotions of those who survived. --Publishers Weekly on DISPLACED PERSONS"
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Back cover copy

In May 1945, Pavel Mandl, a Polish Jew recently liberated from a concentration camp, finds himself among similarly displaced persons gathered in the Allied occupation zones of a defeated Germany. Possessing little besides a map, a few tins of food, and a talent for black-market trading, he must scrape together a new life in a chaotic community of refugees, civilians, and soldiers. With fellow refugees Fela, a young widow, and Chaim, a resourceful teenager with impressive smuggling skills, Pavel establishes a makeshift family, as together they face an uncertain future. Eventually the trio immigrates to the United States, where they grapple with past traumas that arise again in the everyday moments of lives no longer dominated by the need to endure, fight, hide, or escape.

Ghita Schwarz's Displaced Persons is an astonishing novel of grief, anger, and survival that examines the landscape of liberation and reveals the interior despairs and joys of immigrants shaped by war and trauma.
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Review Text

"Schwarz ... captures perfectly, and with elegance, the highs and lows, the grief and anger, and the paranoia of these refugees. In a word, this is a 'humane' novel." USA Today
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Rating details

324 ratings
3.21 out of 5 stars
5 10% (31)
4 32% (104)
3 34% (111)
2 19% (60)
1 6% (18)
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