Press kit for My Germany

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My Germany
A Jewish Writer Returns to the World His Parents Escaped
Lev Raphael
Publication date April 5, 2009
LC: 2008039540 E
224 pp. 6 x 9
15 b/w
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-23150-7
Cloth $26.95 t

Press Release:

Lev Raphael grew up loathing everything German. A son of Holocaust survivors, haunted by his parents’ suffering and traumatic losses under Nazi rule, he was certain that Germany was one place in the world he would never visit. Those feelings shaped his Jewish and gay identity, his life, and his career.

Then the barriers of a lifetime began to come down, as revealed in this moving memoir. After his mother’s death, while researching her war years, Raphael found a distant relative living in the very city where she had been a slave laborer.

What would he learn if he actually traveled to the place where his mother had found freedom and met his father? Not long after that epochal trip, a German publisher bought several of his books for translation. Raphael was launched on book tours in Germany, discovering not so much a new Germany, but a new self: someone unafraid to face the past and transcend it.


“As the New York-born son of eastern European Jews who barely survived the Holocaust, Lev Raphael grew up in a world haunted by secrets and ghosts. Having spent years fleeing from his parents’ past, he decided to confront that past and, in the process, to come to grips with Germany, the country he blamed for the horrors visited on his parents and, indirectly, on himself. My Germany is part travelogue and part detective story, as Raphael sets out to trace what happened to his parents and their families during the war. . . . It is a wholly enthralling, beautifully written story of healing and forgiveness, in which Raphael not only sheds his hatred and fear of Germany but comes to a deeper, richer understanding of his parents and Jewish heritage— and, above all, of himself.”—Lynne Olson, author of Troublesome Young Men

“A double coming-out story, My Germany deftly charts the layers of identity as Raphael claims both his Jewish and gay identity through his life story. . . . This is a powerful, haunted meditation on family and history.” —Tim Miller, author of Body Blows and 1001 Beds

 “Stunning and powerful. . . . Lev Raphael’s memoir is a superb work combining intellectual rigor with emotional honesty in exploring his three-fold identity as a son of Holocaust survivors, a Jew, and a gay man.” —Alan L. Berger, Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair of Holocaust Studies, Florida Atlantic University

 “Lev Raphael knows how to organize a gripping narrative. With every piece of the mystery he puts into place, the puzzle grows even larger. ”—David Bergman, Towson University


“Lev Raphael writes with the precision of a neurosurgeon, the warmth of an ancient storyteller, and the soul of a people that has known the extremes of joy and sorrow, hope and despair, love and hate more than almost any other.” —The Jewish Bulletin, San Francisco

The German Money combines [Raphael’s] multiple talents with his understanding of Holocaust survivors and their families to produce one of the most powerful suspense novels in years, a kind of Kafka meets Philip Roth meets le Carré—a beautifully modulated narrative.” —The Washington Post Book World


Lev Raphael has spoken about his work on three continents and has been publishing fiction and prose about the Second Generation for over thirty years—longer than any other American author. His nineteen books include The German Money, Writing a Jewish Life, and Dancing on Tisha B’Av. He lives in Okemos, Michigan.

For more information, including upcoming author appearances, visit

Additional information

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For more information, in addition to this press kit, contact our publicity department, (608) 263-0734, email:

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Cover image:

Cover image for My Germany has a landscape setting with a faded image of a boy in the background.

This cover image can be downloaded and used in any web-based publicity for this book. For a larger version for use in print publicity, click here.

Author Photo:

Lev Raphael

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Updated December 29, 2009

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