Arts & Culture

Authors in Conversation: Gal Beckerman and Jennifer Gilmore

Why it took so long for such an impassioned account on the fight to save Soviet Jewry to come out is beyond me.  Judging by the 500+ pages, and several years it took Gal Beckerman to write When They Come … Read More

By / September 22, 2010

Why it took so long for such an impassioned account on the fight to save Soviet Jewry to come out is beyond me.  Judging by the 500+ pages, and several years it took Gal Beckerman to write When They Come For Us, We’ll Be Gone (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), I’d be willing to hear arguments that nobody was up to the task of researching the 20 years Beckerman presents us with.

But maybe we’re all the better for the wait: Beckerman’s book is a testament and tribute to the Jews who lived under harsh, and largely undocumented conditions in Soviet Russia. When They Come for Us… is well-researched and doesn’t fall into the trappings of reading like a dry academic essay.  I’d be hard pressed to find a better word other than “mensch” to describe Beckerman, and the fantastic jobs he’s done with this book.

Last year, Jennifer Gilmore presented us with her second novel, Something Red, and took a look at an American Jewish family, struggling with the burden of freedom that their Russian counterparts could only have dreamed of.  While her’s is a work of fiction, a link could be drawn between Something Red and Mr. Beckerman’s book.

The two authors came to Jewcy HQ to discuss their work, and the overlapping themes in their respective books.