This short, halting tale reveals a monumental story. Interspersing text amid emotionally charged paintings and drawings, author and artist Simon Schneiderman provides an insightful account of the life of his father, Yoel, and touchingly recalls family members murdered in the Holocaust. While the author never actually gives a name to the Nazi-driven atrocities visited upon his relatives, his surreal and haunting illustrations imply a torrent of both tangible and imagined horrors. Yoel’s family is robbed of life and legacy; he survives the war and a DP camp and eventually immigrates to Canada. While Yoel never mourned, in the author’s words, in a “ritualized way,” portions of the text read like a prayer or other-worldly poem, revealing the transient state in which his father seemed to exist, unable to live completely in the present and keep past ghosts in the past.
Schneiderman conveys in this small book the epic biography of a man whose life was filled with tragedy and redemption.