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Nonfiction Writer, Memoirist Susan Kushner Resnick Visits Fall Reading Series

September 17, 2012
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

Susan Kushner Resnick, author of three books of nonfiction including a new memoir about her life-changing friendship with a scrappy, charming Holocaust survivor, will join the University of Baltimore community to celebrate the publication of You Saved Me, Too: What a Holocaust Survivor Taught Me about Living, Dying, Fighting, Loving, and Swearing in Yiddish. Her appearance is on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m in the Bogomolny Room in the UB Student Center, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave. The event is free and open to the public as part of the 2012 Fall Reading Series sponsored by the M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts.

Resnick met Aron Lieb at her local pool one day in 1996; 15 years later she was at his deathbed, fulfilling her promise to him that he would not die alone. You Saved Me, Too relates the alternately dark and sweet tale of their friendship. Lieb, a native of Poland who was held captive by the Nazis and imprisoned in a number of concentration camps, was liberated from the camps in 1945 and came to America in 1949. Of the eight people in his immediate family, only he and his brother survived the war. Resnick's family became his.

Early reaction to the book has been enthusiastic.

"In well-executed, second-person prose, Resnick speaks directly to the elderly Aron Lieb—a virtually family-less Holocaust survivor whom she befriends—as he lies on his deathbed in a nursing home. Short vignettes skip back and forth through time, covering the history of their relationship: Resnick's struggle with Jewish identity ("I figured as long as I stayed ambivalent about being Jewish, I might not get killed by the Nazis the next time they came") and Aron's own history before, during, and after the war ... Resnick displays her artistic skill as she attempts to make sense of Aron’s life in light of her own," said Publisher's Weekly in a starred review.

"Resnick expertly ... intersperses bits and pieces of Aron's life in the camps with her feelings about Judaism, her family life and her steadfast belief that the world should do right by her friend, a man who had suffered more than enough. … Resnick's compassionate prose captures the voice and soul of Aron, ensuring that his memories will continue long after the number '141324' has disappeared. A poignant, memorable story of friendship and of a period in time that should never be forgotten," said Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.

Resnick teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University, and is the author of two previous books, including the award-winning Goodbye Wifes and Daughters and the memoir of postpartum depression, Sleepless Days.

Learn more about the Fall Reading Series.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Affairs and the Merrick School of Business.