Lettera alla madre

  • Author: Edith Bruck
  • Editor: Gabriella Romani
  • Pages: xxvii & 251 pp.
  • Published: 2006
  • ISBN: 9780873529358 (Paperback)
Lettera alla madre Cover
Paperback ($9.95)

“Edith Bruck’s extraordinarily incisive memoir of her life in wartime Auschwitz is one of the most impressive works of its kind that I’ve seen in the last five or six years. Readers will be powerfully moved and instructed by this brilliant and urgently necessary book.”

—Sandra M. Gilbert, author of Death’s Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve

“The availability of Lettera in print will have a significant impact on the fields of Italian studies, women’s studies, gender studies, Jewish studies, Holocaust studies, and comparative literature.”


Through literary works and public appearances, Edith Bruck, born 1932 in Hungary, has devoted her life to bearing witness to what she experienced in the Nazi concentration camps. In 1954 she settled in Rome and is today the most prolific writer of Holocaust narrative in Italian. The book is composed in two parts. “Letter to My Mother”—an imaginary dialogue between Bruck and her mother, who died in Auschwitz—probes the question of self-identity, the pain of loss and displacement, the power of language to help recover the past, and the ultimate impossibility of that recovery. “Traces,” a story of a journey without return, completes the diptych. Bruck’s experimental fusion of memoir and fiction portrays the Holocaust from a female perspective and highlights the role of gender in the creation of memory.