Ruth Rotkowitz was in Vienna with her sister and cousins in the fall of 2019. She has now described the feelings and problems of the second generation in a novel. “Escaping the Whale: The Holocaust is over. But is it ever over for the next generation?”
About the book
To everyone who knows her, 28-year-old Marcia Gold leads the perfect life. A high school guidance counselor in 1980 Brooklyn, New York who specializes in helping pregnant teens, Marcia thrives in her work. She also has a handsome, successful boyfriend who has won the approval of her Jewish, Holocaust-survivor family – no easy feat.However, beneath the shiny surface lurks another reality. Plagued by frightening and debilitating panic attacks brought on by her family’s wartime legacy and exacerbated by the Iranian hostage crisis in the news, Marcia becomes convinced that “demons” are occupying her closet and her mind. Determined to keep her terrifying secret life a secret, Marcia is pushed closer and closer to a breaking point.A series of crises finally forces the explosion Marcia can no longer contain. Determined to rid herself of her “demons,” she concocts a plan, desperate to be reborn as a new person. Unfortunately, she discovers that her plan creates its own problems. Can she find another path out of her psychic pain, one that will lead her to true normalcy?
About the author
Ruth Rotkowitz is a second-generation child – the daughter of Holocaust survivors from Austria. This has informed much of her research and writing. She has published fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in a variety of anthologies and literary journals, and was a staff writer and member of the editorial board of the (now-defunct) Woman’s Newspaper of Princeton, winning awards for many of her feature articles. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in English and has taught English on both the college and high school levels. She currently leads book talks in the Phoenix, Arizona area, where she lives with her husband.