“Mimi Schwartz brings us back to her father’s ancestral village of Rexingen in the German Black Forest to show us that, generations later, it still has much to teach us about decency then and now.” —Frank Mecklenburg, director of research and chief archivist of the Leo Baeck Institute.
“In this second edition, Schwartz’s scrupulously researched, humane, and multi-voiced account of a German village where Jews and gentiles ‘all got along,’ according to [her] father, has been profoundly enriched. . . . The meaning of ‘neighbor’ gains an utterly new dimension.” —Alicia Ostriker, poet laureate of New York State
“Indispensable for anyone drawn to trying his or her hand at creative nonfiction…a great choice for classrooms, writing groups, and the desktops of writers exploring the genre on their own.”—Lynn Powell, Oberlin College
“I’d like to take my phone off the hook, plug in an automated “Out of the Office” email message, and take this book with me…for a one-month island writing retreat.” —Stephanie Paterson, Cal State University
A guide to those who want to write about the real world with voice, passion, and the power of storytelling. Filled with strategies, exercises, and wonderful anthology of contemporary creative nonfiction, it offers writers of all levels fresh options for writing memoir, personal essays, profiles, family history, and literary journalism. Co-authored with Sondra Perl.
“I laughed and sighed and loved reading Thoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed from start to finish. Schwartz, who is a writer, professor, wife, mother, and friend, resists stereotypes of class, gender, and age to find or make, in lovely, clear prose, the sweetness of life for her audience. Do yourself a favor. Read this book.” —Hilda Raz, Author of Divine Honors and Trans
“This is aimed at anyone interested in a thoughtful, humorous, poignant and honest look at love and marriage and family. Since not one of us can lay claim truly to being a specialist in this field—we are all amateurs when it comes to matters of the heart—this book is, then, for us all.” —Bret Lott, editor of Crazy Horse and author of Jewel, an Oprah Book Club selection
In this startlingly funny and honest book of personal essays, Mimi Schwartz describes what it means to stay married to your high school sweetheart for fifty years. With refreshing candor, Schwartz captures the ups and downs of a working marriage, with its mix of independence and togetherness, in essays that are wise and warm without being sentimental.
“Good Neighbors, Bad Times is utterly riveting. It reintroduces, one story at a time, the kind of human complexity to our understanding of the perpetrators so often lacking when we confront the devastation of the Holocaust. Her book casts a ray of light into the darkness, which was not so absolute as it has often seemed.” —Rosellen Brown, author of Tender Mercies
“Mimi Schwartz has found a fresh way to write about the unspeakable loss of the Holocaust: her humor, warm humanity and honesty, her appetite for contradiction and irony, sparkle on ever page. The result is both deeply affecting and full of surprises.” —Phillip Lopate, author of The Art of the Essay
Mimi Schwartz sees a Torah that had been rescued on Kristallnacht—not by Jews, but by their Christian neighbors. Who saved it and why? So begins Good Neighbors, Bad Times: Echoes of My Father’s German Village, her twelve-year quest to find out how neighbors in one small village where “everyone got along before Hitler” negotiated decency during and after Nazi times–and what that means for us, as neighbors today.
“Perfect pitch, impeccable observation, penetrating insight…A fresh and vivid approach to many dominant themes long cherished by American writers—the dynamics of remembering and forgetting, the significance of place, the conflict of individuals and institutions, the inseparability of past and present.” —Robert Atwan, editor of the Best American Essays Series.
“[Schwartz’s] writing is vivid and compelling, but also something more, a re-substantiation of lives that mattered, a testament. Brava!” —Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House
Mimi Schwartz narrates twenty-five stories in her life, each enhanced by the social issues that shaped them. A child of German-Jewish immigrants, wife of over forty years, writer and professor, breast cancer survivor, traveler, tennis player, and recent widow, Schwartz invites readers to consider how individual experiences can challenge the “official” history —be it on assimilation, the women’s movement, racism, anti-Semitism, end-of-life issues, ethics in writing, or courtroom justice.