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Heritage House Publishing Fall 2019

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    For sale with exclusive rights in: CA US
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    Distributor: Heritage Group Distribution Ltd. Supplies to:CA US Availability: Available Excluding:Aug 09, 2019 On Sale Date:Aug 13, 2019 Carton Quantity:24 $22.95 CAD
    $22.95 USD
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    Distributor: UTP Distribution Supplies to:CA Availability: Available Excluding:Aug 09, 2019 On Sale Date:Aug 13, 2019 $22.95 CAD
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Driving to Treblinka
A Long Search for a Lost Father
By (author): Diana Wichtel
9781772032994 Paperback, Trade English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs Aug 13, 2019
$22.95 CAD
Active 6 x 9 x 0.25 in | 200 gr 288 pages Heritage House Publishing Heritage House

An intimate memoir recounting a woman’s quest to solve the mystery of her Holocaust survivor father’s death.

As a child growing up in Vancouver in the 1950s and early ’60s, Diana Wichtel knew there was something different about her family. Her parents were far from forthcoming about the harrowing details of her Jewish father’s journey from Poland to Canada during the Second World War, often leaving young Diana with more questions than answers.

She was told that during the War, Benjamin Wichtel and several members of his family were herded onto a train headed for the Treblinka extermination camp. Along the way, Benjamin seized the opportunity to jump off the train, leaving his loved ones behind. Evading the Nazis for the remainder of the War, Benjamin made his way to Canada and new life with a family of his own. But the past haunted him, and the pain of what he had gone through infiltrated his home life. When Diana was thirteen, her mother took her three children back to her native New Zealand, with the plan that Benjamin would follow them. However, the family never saw him again.

After decades of unanswered questions, Diana (now a journalist), set out on her own to uncover what happened to her father. The search became an obsession as she uncovered information about his Warsaw family and their fate at the hands of the Nazis, scoured archives for clues to her father’s disappearance, and visited the places he lived. This unforgettable memoir is a reflection on the meaning of family, the trauma of loss, and the insistence of memory.

Diana Wichtel is an award-winning journalist and a feature writer and television critic at current affairs magazine the New Zealand Listener. She holds a master of arts degree from the University of Auckland and is the recipient of a 2016 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship. Her memoir, Driving in Treblinka, was a national bestseller in New Zealand and in 2018 won two New Zealand Book Awards: the Royal Society Te Aparangi Award for General Non-fiction and the E.H. McCormick Best First Book Award for General Non-Fiction. She lives in Auckland.

  • National, regional, and subject-specific print features, excerpts and review coverage. Targeted media includes: Canada's History; publications related to Jewish culture and history, such as The Canadian Jewish News; CBC Radio (North by Northwest, Writers and Company, Ideas)
  • Publicity and promotion in conjunction with author's speaking engagements
  • Blogger outreach, online ads and social media campaigns
  • Excerpts available

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BIO026000     BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
HIS043000      HISTORY / Holocaust

BISAC Regional Themes North America Canada British Columbia Vancouver Ontario Quebec Montreal New Zealand

THEMA Subject Codes


For more information contact
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"The toughest task of any book, whatever the form, is to make a sentence so good that you just have to read the next one, and the next one, and then wish it could just about go on forever. So it is with Driving to Treblinka. From the first page, Diana Wichtel’s memoir draws you into a fascinating ancestry: the story of a girl growing up in Canada, her mum a kiwi, her dad a Polish Jew, a man who leapt in desperation from a concentration-camp-bound train, a moment around which everything in this book orbits. Wichtel’s curiosity, alternately upsetting and uplifting, turns invisibly into a kind of mission. At its heart this is a family story, but one which cannot but shine a light on the vestiges of anti-Semitism that linger in Europe today. It is not just a beautifully written book, but an important book, too."—jury, ROYAL SOCIETY TE APĀRANGI AWARD FOR GENERAL NON-FICTION, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, 2018

"Powerful, poignant, and not infrequently profound, Driving to Treblinka is an outrageously assured example of a first book. Diana Wichtel’s story goes way beyond the usual family memoir. In search of her father’s history Wichtel travels by memory and aeroplane and time to Poland, to the Jewish ghetto and a miraculous escape from execution at the Nazi death camp in Treblinka to a new life in Canada – and to another heart-wrenching, years-long unexplained family fissure. As uplifting as it is upsetting, Driving to Treblinka delivers an engrossing account of a life, and the indelible legacy of the Holocaust through generations."—jury, E.H. MCCORMICK BEST FIRST BOOK AWARD FOR GENERAL NON-FICTION, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, 2018

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