They Were Always Like Family to Me by Helen Maryles Shankman – Book Blast and Giveaway

Posted 3 October, 2016 by Heather in Blog, Blog Tour, Bookworms, Heather, Spotlight / 1 Comment

I’m so very happy to host the book blast for the paperback debut of Helen Maryles Shankman’s collection of short stories, They Were Always Like Family to Me. Stay tuned at the bottom for your chance to win a copy!

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Critically praised, beloved by readers, In the Land of Armadillos has an evocative new cover and title, They Were Like Family to Me. Now in Paperback! Available October 4.

1942. With the Nazi Party at the height of its power, the occupying army empties Poland’s towns and cities of their Jewish citizens. As neighbor turns on neighbor and survival often demands unthinkable choices, Poland has become a moral quagmire—a place of shifting truths and blinding ambiguities.

Blending folklore and fact, Helen Maryles Shankman shows us the people of Wlodawa, a remote Polish town. We meet a cold-blooded SS officer dedicated to rescuing the Jewish creator of his son’s favorite picture book; a Messiah who appears in a little boy’s bedroom to announce that he is quitting; a young Jewish girl who is hidden by the town’s most outspoken anti-Semite—and his talking dog. And walking among these tales are two unforgettable figures: silver-tongued Willy Reinhart, commandant of the forced labor camp who has grand schemes to protect “his” Jews, and Soroka, the Jewish saddlemaker, struggling to survive.

Channeling the mythic magic of classic storytellers like Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer and the psychological acuity of modern-day masters like Nicole Krauss and Nathan Englander, They Were Like Family to Me is a testament to the persistence of humanity in the most inhuman conditions.

“One of the most original and consistently captivating short story collections to have appeared in recent years…(They Were Like Family to Me) is a singularly inventive collection of chilling stark realism enhanced by the hallucinatory ingredient of top-drawer magical realism, interrogating the value of art, storytelling, and dreams in a time of peril and presenting hard truths with wisdom, magic, and grace.” —Jewish Book Council

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About They Were Like Family to Me

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (October 4, 2016)

A radiant debut collection of linked stories from a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, set in a German-occupied town in Poland, where tales of myth and folklore meet the real-life monsters of the Nazi invasion.

1942. With the Nazi Party at the height of its power, the occupying army empties Poland’s towns and cities of their Jewish populations. As neighbor turns on neighbor and survival often demands unthinkable choices, Poland has become a moral quagmire—a place of shifting truths and blinding ambiguities.

Blending folklore and fact, Helen Maryles Shankman shows us the people of Wlodawa, a remote Polish town: we meet a cold-blooded SS officer dedicated to rescuing the creator of his son’s favorite picture book, even as he helps exterminate the artist’s friends and family; a Messiah who appears in a little boy’s bedroom to announce that he is quitting; a young Jewish girl who is hidden by the town’s most outspoken anti-Semite—and his talking dog. And walking among these tales are two unforgettable figures: the enigmatic and silver-tongued Willy Reinhart, Commandant of the forced labor camp who has grand schemes to protect “his” Jews, and Soroka, the Jewish saddlemaker and his family, struggling to survive.

Channeling the mythic magic of classic storytellers like Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer and the psychological acuity of modern-day masters like Nicole Krauss and Nathan Englander, In the Land of Armadillos is a testament to the persistence of humanity in the most inhuman conditions.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books a Million | Barnes & Noble

About Helen Maryles Shankmanhmshankman

Shankman’s writing appears in The Kenyon Review, Gargoyle, Cream City Review, Grift, Jewishfiction.net, The Jewish Standard, The Times of Israel, and numerous other fine publications.

Two of her stories, They Were Like Family to Me and The Jew Hater, have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She was a finalist in Narrative Magazine’s Winter Story Contest and earned an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers competition.

Shankman spent four years working in Tribeca as an artist’s assistant, followed by two years working at Conde Nast as a graphic designer, assisting the great Alexander Liberman as he did a radical redesign for Self Magazine. After Self, she returned to school to study classical technique at the New York Academy of Art, where she was awarded a Warhol Foundation Scholarship. Shortly after earning her MFA, she was invited to become a member of the First Street Gallery. Her artwork has been displayed in numerous exhibitions in and around New York City. She has painted many commissioned portraits, including one of Hillary Clinton that was presented to the White House while she was First Lady.

Her parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts are Holocaust survivors. Many of the events in her fiction are based on personal family stories of Holocaust loss and survival.

Connect with Helen

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win a paperback copy of They Were Like Family to Me. Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only please.

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“BOOK BLAST” for They Were Like Family to Me:

Monday, September 26th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, September 27th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, September 27th: Read Love Blog
Wednesday, September 28th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Thursday, September 29th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Friday, September 30th: Bibliotica
Friday, September 30th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Monday, October 3rd: From the TBR Pile
Monday, October 3rd: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, October 4th: Books and Bindings
Tuesday, October 4th: 100 Pages a Day
Tuesday, October 4th: The Whimsical Cottage
Tuesday, October 4th: Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, October 4th: Stranded in Chaos
Wednesday, October 5th: Reading is My Superpower
Wednesday, October 5th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Thursday, October 6th: WV Stitcher
Thursday, October 6th: Helen’s Book Blog
Thursday, October 6th: Books a la Mode
Friday, October 7th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, October 7th: Travelling Birdy
Sunday, October 23rd: Writer Unboxed – author guest post
Date TBD: BookBub Blog – author guest post

Heather

I’m a PhD chemist who loves sarcasm, music, and books-paranormal, mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, romance, and young adult. Feel free to friend me on any of the social media sites listed. I’d love to connect with you!
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