Award nomination for "moving memoir"

  • Date

    Fri 15 Jan 21

Professor Jonathan Lichtenstein with his arms folded wearing a dark sweater and dark-rimmed glasses

A poignant story of a father’s Holocaust experience and subsequent second-generation trauma has been shortlisted for a national biography prize.

The Berlin Shadow, by playwright Professor Jonathan Lichtenstein, from the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, is one of five titles shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2020.

It tells the story of a journey taken by Professor Lichtenstein and his elderly father Hans as they travelled back to Berlin, which his father had fled on the Kinderstransport in 1939.

Slightly Foxed, which celebrates books by less well known authors, has described The Berlin Shadow as a “deeply moving memoir in three timeframes that confronts the defining trauma of the twentieth century and its effects on a father and son.

Professor Lichtenstein said: “I feel very honoured indeed to be included in this shortlist - and that the Kindertransport is recognised for what it was – a symbol of hope and an active stand against the most terrible odds.10,000 children, mainly Jewish, survived their certain deaths because of the Kindertransport.”

The four other authors shortlisted are Heather Clark, Hadley Freeman, Sudhir Hazareesingh and Shelley Klein. The winner will be announced at an online prize-giving on 9 March.

The Prize, which is supported by The Biographers’ Club, will be judged by former Telegraph critic and author Rupert Christiansen, journalist and biographer Selina Hastings, and Alexander Masters who has received the Biographers’ Club Exceptional Contribution to Biography Award 2021.