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August 7 @ 7:00 pm

The public is invited to celebrate the recent release of Where the
Angels Lived: One Family’s Story of Exile, Loss, and Return by Margaret
McMullan at Left Bank Books in downtown Belfast on Wednesday, August 7 at
7 pm. McMullan’s book traces her journey to Pecs, Hungary to research the
life and death, in 1944, of a cousin whose existence she learned about by
accident at Israel’s Holocaust Museum. Portions of Where the Angels Lived
have appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Time, The
Huffington Post, and The Montreal Review.
When asked why she became consumed with learning about Richárd,
McMullan says “the simple answer is that [his] was the name that popped up
on the data base at Yad Vashem. Here was my relative, a man I’d never
heard of. And the archivist gave me this assignment: I had a familial duty to
remember Richárd. Hitler’s aim was to wipe out the Jews — even their
history. In many ways, he was successful. I was not going to let that happen
to Richárd or the rest of the family.”
McMullan grew up ignorant of her Jewish ancestors mostly because her
mother was so reluctant to talk about her past and because her maternal
grandfather lied about his own family’s history – a fact that has haunted
McMullan. “My grandfather converted from Judaism to Catholicism in the
spring of 1938 when Hitler marched into Vienna [his home]. . . .Who knows if
he thought converting would save his life. My grandfather was an ambitious,
forward-thinking man who did not want to be slowed down by his past or by
his family. He might not have liked the family members he had left. He may
have just wanted a fresh start when he came to America.”

McMullan further explains that she “wrote this book for myself, for my
mother, and for my son. I [wanted] to fit all the pieces of my mother’s lost
family together so that we would know who they were, who we all were. But
then I realized this is also a universal story about a country, WWII, hatred,
love and betrayal.
Where the Angels Lived has received international acclaim, including
this from Joyce Carol Oates:
“McMullan has written a beautiful and heartrending account of her
pilgrimage to Hungary in the hope of retrieving what she can of the
story of a distant Jewish relative, lost in the Holocaust. Written with. .
.emotionally engaging prose, Where the Angels Lived is a powerful
testament of familial mourning as well as a vision of the 20 th –
century European history that is both searing and uplifting.”
McMullan is the author of seven previous novels, many of which are
award-winners in the Young Adults genre. In 2015, she and Phillip Lopate
curated Every Father’s Daughter, an anthology of essays about fathers by
great women writers such as Alice Munro, Ann Hood, and Jane Smiley. Her
work has appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,
The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Glamour, as well as in
many journals and anthologies. A 2007 Eudora Welty Visiting Writer at
Millsaps College in Mississippi, McMullen has taught writing at several
colleges and universities throughout the country. She now writes full time
from her home in Pass Christian, Mississippi.
Reservations for the free talk and signing are strongly encouraged.
Please email (leftbank@myfairpoint.net) or call (207-338-9009) Left Bank
Books to reserve a seat. If you can’t make the signing, the bookshop is
happy to take your order and have your book(s) signed for later pick up or
shipment. Left Bank Books is located at 109 Church St. in downtown Belfast,
in the historic Opera House building. Ample parking is available on the street
and in an adjacent public parking lot.


August 7
7:00 pm
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Left Bank Books
(207) 338-9009


Left Bank Books
109 Church Street
Belfast, ME 04915 United States
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