Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Bryon MacWilliams Shares His New Book

Jennifer Browne, Director of Frostburg Center for Literary Arts, introduced Bryon MacWilliams who read from his new book, The Girl in the Haystack, at a March 7 evening program in the Ort Library. The program was sponsored by the Lewis J. Ort Library, The Department of History, and the Martha T. & Ralph M. Race Western History Lecture Fund. 
Photo Courtesy of Marshall Sandifer
The setting for the book is a rural town in the Ukraine in 1941 immediately after the invasion of Hitler's troops. Local Jews are herded into a ghetto, and a pogrom begins. The principal voice in the book is Lyuba's; she is seven. She recounts the struggles that her family endures for two years while hiding in one of the massive haystacks that  were common on the countryside.

MacWilliams explains that Lyuba has a sympathetic observer who periodically interjects comments and reflections. In the photo below he shows the audience how he identifies this change of voice.
Photo Courtesy of Marshall Sandifer
 MacWilliams explained his concern with authentically telling Lyuba's ordeal and with providing historically accurate facts. Lyuba, who survived the holocaust, lives in the author's New Jersey neighborhood. He answered many questions from the audience and personally signed copies of his book for those in attendance.

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