The Neppi Modona Diaries: Reading Jewish Survival Through My Italian Family is the story of a Jewish family who suffered under the racial laws in Fascist Italy and went into hiding during the Nazi invasion. Told through interviews with the mother and daughter, and excepts from the (heretofore) unpublished diaries of father and son. The result is a complex, sometimes conflicting portrait of a family of survivors, as well as a meditation on the role of both Judaism and the Holocaust in the self-definition of four people–or rather five, since the author examines her own non-believing, post-Holocaust mentality as well.
“Cohen has integrated primary and secondary sources into a fascinating portrait of a family, a nation and an era that is not only an informative historical text but also a great read.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Four touching and tragic stories revealing the paradoxical nature of Italian fascism. By skillfully juxtaposing the tales of four distant cousins, Cohen . . . recreates the texture of life for Italian Jews under the fascist regime. . . . Four stories that remind us of the human dimension of history.”–Kirkus Reviews
” Evocative witnesses are rare. We need Kate Cohen. “–Independent Publisher