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Where She Came From: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother’s History

Helen Epstein
Where She Came From: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother’s History
ISBN: 978-0-8419-1444-5
2005/322 pages/LC: 97013845
Distributed for Holmes & Meier Publishers

"Rich and absorbing.... In the guise of a family memoir, [Epstein] brilliantly evokes Jewish life in the Czech lands."—The New York Times Book Review

"Rich in detail, this work is told with a strong voice, and the result is a moving account of family history and the strength of its women."—Library Journal

"In Epstein's expert and sensitive hands, truth becomes not only stranger than fiction, but more magnetic, wise and powerful."—Gloria Steinem

"Helen Epstein's literary pilgrimage to her past will move and enrich our quest for memory and understanding."—Elie Wiesel

"A real life family saga … about Czech history and relations between men and women, Czechs and Jews, rich and poor. It is a compelling account, one that any woman trying to recover history will value."—Kirkus Reviews


After the death of her mother, author and journalist Helen Epstein set out to uncover her mother's past and to learn more about her grandmother and great-grandmother, victims of the Holocaust. The result is this compelling biography, both a chronicle of three generations of women and a social history of Czechoslovakia's Jews.


Helen Epstein is the author of six books of literary nonfiction, three of which, including Where She Came From, have been named New York Times Notable Books of the Year. She has also translated from the Czech Acting in Terezin by Vlasta Schonova and Heda Margolius Kovály’s classic memoir, Under A Cruel Star: A Life in Prague 1941–1968.