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For up-to-the-minute information on Brenda's projects and events, visit Brenda at www.redroom.com.

--Brenda's new novel!

After Auschwitz: A Love Story

Promotion plans include bookstore appearances in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia.


"When we're young we tend to think of memory as something belonging to us. There are good memories and bad ones, but aside from forgetting names occasionally, it is hard to imagine what ceasing to rely on your memory means. My mind still functions enough for me to be frightened and feel diminished. Someday, I hope not too soon, I'll cease to be alarmed...." Renzo, from After Auschwitz

Two of the 20th century's terrible A's collide in this powerful novel—Alzheimer's Disease and the Auschwitz death camp. Brenda Webster brings to bear her considerable knowledge of Jewish and Italian history and culture, personal acquaintance with the families of luminaries like Primo Levi, and a lifetime of psychological insight as she observes the intellectual decline of Renzo, a once brilliant writer and filmmaker. The novel is set entirely in Rome in 2010, and benefits from the author's comfortable familiarity with the city's haunts, both hidden and famous. Renzo, aware that he is slipping deeper and deeper into the haze of Alzheimer's, keeps a journal in which he grapples with his complicated marriage to Hannah, who survived the death camps as a child and went on to become a chronicler of that experience. Renzo knows how painful it is for Hannah to lose yet another loved one—himself—as he chronicles his own failing grip on reality. This story of enduring love—a love that makes the pain bearable—inspires hope where there appears to be despair, and allows humor to leaven the loaf of existence. His rich memories of the artistic and intellectual currents of the 20th century begin to fade. Highly lyrical passages elucidate for the reader both his sophisticated anguish and his child-like wonder.

$16.95. Original trade paperback, 160 pages. ISBN 978-1-60940-359-1 (Wings Press, 03/03/14)


--Wings Press
All Wings Press titles are distributed through Independent Publishers Group at 1-800/888-4741.

--Indie Bound


This one-of-a-kind novel depicting love between an aging Roman film director suffering from the onset of dementia and a Holocaust survivor is not for the faint-hearted. It takes you to places you don't want to go, but the voyage is not just searing but also transcendent. After Auschwitz: A Love Story will remain with you long after you have put it down.

--Marilyn Yalom, Senior scholar at the Clayman
Institute for Gender Research at
Stanford University, author of How the
French Invented Love:
900 Years of Passion and Romance

Webster's new novel blends the horrors of the holocaust with the redeeming power of love. The plot traces the lives of Hannah, a child survivor of Auschwitz, and her care-taker then husband, the Italian filmmaker Renzo, through the years as he becomes increasingly crippled with age and Alzheimers and dependent on her. If this sounds grim, it is not—thanks to Webster's marvelous writing, deft touch, and her own love for her characters. I found the depiction of the characters psychologically acute and the relationships real and touching. All in all, a wonderful read that I can strongly recommend to everyone.

--Louis Breger, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus,
Psychoanalytic Studies, Caltech;
author of Freud: Darkness
in the Midst of Vision

Brenda Webster's new novel is a brave and haunting love story. The narrator's struggle with the ravages of old age, his strain to hang onto mental coherence, are rendered with unblinking persuasiveness, and his sheltering in the care of the woman he has long loved, left, and to whom he has finally returned, is imagined unsentimentally and movingly.

--Robert Alter, author of The Pleasure
of Reading in an Ideological Age

After Auschwitz: A Love Story is without a doubt the most profound, moving and important of Webster's novels. The level of complexity and insight is remarkable. I was deeply moved by her exploration of relationships and long term love and commitment in the face of aging, parenting, dealing with loss, illness, ambivalence, ambiguity, and the prospect of imminent death.

--Alan Rinzler, legendary editor of Toni
Morrison, Tom Robbins, and others

Brenda Webster's Biography

Brenda Webster was born in New York City, educated at Swarthmore, Barnard, Columbia, and Berkeley, where she earned her Ph.D. A top-rated author on Redroom.com, she is a novelist, freelance writer, playwright, critic and translator who splits her time between Berkeley and Rome. Webster has written two controversial and oft-anthologized critical studies, Yeats: A Psychoanalytic Study (Stanford) and Blake's Prophetic Psychology (Macmillan), and translated poetry from the Italian for The Other Voice (Norton) and The Penguin Book of Women Poets. She is co-editor of the journals of the abstract expressionist painter (and Webster's mother) Ethel Schwabacher, Hungry for Light: The Journal of Ethel Schwabacher (Indiana 1993). She is the author of four previous novels, Sins of the Mothers (Baskerville 1993), Paradise Farm (SUNY, 1999), The Beheading Game (Wings Press, 2006), which was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award, and Vienna Triangle (Wings Press, 2009). Her memoir, The Last Good Freudian (Holmes and Meier, 2000) received considerable critical praise. The Modern Language Association published Webster's translation of Edith Bruck's Holocaust novel, Lettera alla Madre, in 2007.

Her new play, "The Murder Trial of Sigmund Freud," was inspired by Vienna Triangle but goes beyond the story of Tausk and Freud to chronicle Freud's relationships with women patients, disciples, and his family. "The Murder Trial of Sigmund Freud" was written in collaboration with Meridee Stein, who conceived the idea of a play and brought to the table many stimulating ideas and twenty years of experience in the theater.

Readings and Discussion Groups

Brenda is available by appointment for readings and discussion groups related to any of her titles. Reduced rates are offered for book clubs. For information on fees and schedule, contact Brenda at websterbrenda1@aol.com.


(links to this site gratefully appreciated and reciprocated)

- redroom.com
- PEN American Center
- Persimmon Tree, an online literary magazine by women over sixty
- Independent Publishers Group

© 2013, Brenda Webster. No reproduction without permission.