Peck's Book/Plate Featuring Jim Shepard, author of The Book of Aron
Book/Plate is a literary/culinary series in partnership with Greenlight Bookstore, which pairs new books with complementary cuisine for a unique dinner with the author.
From the hugely acclaimed National Book Award finalist Jim Shepard comes a novel that will join the shortlist of classics about the Holocaust and the children caught up in it. Aron, the narrator, is an engaging if peculiar young boy whose family is driven from the countryside into the Warsaw Ghetto. As his family is slowly stripped away from him, Aron and a handful of boys and girls risk their lives, smuggling and trading things through the "quarantine walls" to keep their people alive, hunted all the while by blackmailers and by Jewish, Polish, and German police (not to mention the Gestapo). Eventually Aron is "rescued" by Janusz Korczak, a Jewish-Polish doctor and advocate of children's rights famous throughout prewar Europe who, once the Nazis swept in, was put in charge of the ghetto orphanage. In the end, of course, he and his staff and all the children are put on a train to Treblinka, but has Aron managed to escape, to spread word about the atrocities, as Korczak hoped he would? Jim Shephard has masterfully made this child's-eye view of the Warsaw Ghetto mesmerizing, heartbreaking, and sometimes comic despite all odds.
Peck's, which is steeped in Kosher deli traditions, offers a meal celebrating the foods of the Eastern European Jewish Diaspora in all its resilience and tenacity. Shepard talks about his new book and his work as one of the nation's most respected writing teachers and short story writers, his inimitable wit and compassion making him the best of dinner companions even when confronting the worst of humanity.
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