Loss, trauma, memory, and the impenetrable ties of family are the elements that weave together Sharon Hart-Green’s panoramic debut novel Come Back for Me (New Jewish Press; 304 pages).
Come Back for Me tells the story of two young Jewish characters; one is a Hungarian Holocaust survivor Artur Mandelkorn who’s on a desperate quest to find his beloved sister, Manya, after they become separated during the war. Artur’s journey takes him to Israel where he falls in love with Fanny, a young woman who still bears the scars of her own tragic past.
Intersecting Artur’s tale is that of Suzy Kohn, a Toronto teenager whose seemingly tranquil life is shattered by her uncle’s sudden death. As she struggles with her aunt’s growing depression and her parents’ collective secrecy, Suzy gropes for answers to her unanswered questions. At the same time, she is drawn into a troubled relationship with a charismatic young musician.
As Suzy’s coming of age story reaches a climax, Artur’s quest for his sister leads to a shocking discovery. As their stories come together in Israel following the Six-Day War, the reader travels through time and place to arrive, ultimately, to the connections between generations. Like Sarah’s Key, Come Back for Me deals evocatively with the scars left by tragedy and the possibilities for healing.
Advance Praise for Come Back for Me
"Evocative and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Come Back for Me is a must read for anyone with a moral conscience and a soul." — Leah Kaminsky, winner of the Voss Literary Prize for her debut novel, The Waiting Room
“Sharon Hart-Green writes passionately and intelligently about trauma, history and the true meaning of home. This novel is poignant and compassionate, vividly evoked and deeply satisfying.” —Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans
“This wonderful debut novel, with great sensitivity and tenderness, captures the emotional contours of loss and renewal that haunt the post-Holocaust universe. And even with all the grief that comes from such tales of lives ruptured and recaptured, Hart-Green's novel is a joy to read.” — Thane Rosenbaum, author of The Golems of Gotham, Second Hand Smoke, and Elijah Visible.
Writing with an historian's luminous clarity and a fictionist's hard-won freedom to imagine the past, Sharon Hart-Green takes the modern Jewish novel to new heights. — Maxim D. Shrayer, author of Yom Kippur in Amsterdam and Leaving Russi
About the Author
Sharon Hart-Green is a Canadian novelist and literary scholar who received her PhD in Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. While teaching Hebrew and Yiddish literature at the University of Toronto, she published two books: Not a Simple Story (Lexington Books) is a study of the work of Hebrew novelist S. Y. Agnon. Bridging the Divide (Syracuse University Press) is a compilation of her translations of the Hebrew poems of Hava Pinhas-Cohen.
Hart-Green's debut novel Come Back for Me was chosen as the inaugural fiction offering of The New Jewish Press and was released on May 30, 2017. It is a gripping story of trauma, loss, and the redemptive power of love set in the aftermath of World War II.
In addition, Hart-Green’s short stories, poems, translations, and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including The Jewish Quarterly, Writers Digest, The Jewish Review of Books, Midstream, and JewishFiction.net. She is currently at work on a second novel, about the mystical inclinations of a young man in search of love.