Writer to speak on life in a war zone Sunday Feb. 3 at Stratford Library

Elisabeth H. Breslav

Stratford resident Elisabeth H. Breslav recently published a book chapter in a new collection of first-hand stories about being a child in a warzone, and will read from and sign her work at the Stratford Public Library on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m.

The book, That Mad Game: Growing Up in a Warzone, an anthology of essays from around the globe, features excerpts from an unpublished memoir by Breslav.

As a Dutch child during World War II, Breslav lived through the Nazi occupation of Holland and survived the “Hunger Winter,” the extension of the occupation to 1945 in parts of Holland that grew from the November 1944 Allied defeat profiled in the epic A Bridge Too Far.

While there are numerous first-person accounts of the Holocaust, there is a dearth of English-language writings about the Nazi occupation of Europe from the perspective of those non-Jews who suffered through it. Theirs is a story that a dwindling number of survivors can tell, simply because of their advancing age.

Published by the independent publishing company Cinco Puntos Press, That Mad Game: Growing Up in a Warzone, an anthology of essays from around the globe, is edited by J.L. Powers, and includes 17 highly personal, reflective essays focusing on conflicts of recent history including in Vietnam, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Juárez, Mexico, El Salvador, South Africa, Afghanistan, Iran, China, Burma, and Thailand.

Cinco Puntos says the book is “perhaps the first collection of essays by writers who describe what it’s like to be a child enduring the insanity of war.” Kirkus summarizes the book as “War’s most vulnerable victims, stepping up to have their say.”

Breslav has lived in Stratford since 2003.

While she has published other articles in several local newspapers and magazines, this is Breslav’s first contribution to a book. As is true for many aspiring memoirists, this success came after years of seeking a publisher for her full memoirs. She hopes to publish those memoirs in the future.

In addition to her writing, Breslav continues to be active in the community. She was president of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Bridgeport Area Branch, president of the former Alliance Francaise du Comte de Fairfield and served on the Scholarship Commission of the Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation and Fairfield County Community Foundation.

The Stratford Public Library is located at 2203 Main St. For more information call 203-385-4164.

Proceeds from the sale of books will benefit the library.

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