Finalist, National Jewish Book Award 1997
A New York Times Notable Book
Ida Fink's first collection of short stories, A Scrap of Time, was universally hailed as a masterpiece. Traces continues Fink's portrait of life in Nazi-occupied Poland, of men and women otherwise buried in the anonymous statistics of war and genocide.
It is Fink's special art to show that even the Holocaust had its everyday life, where death and daily routine shared the same cramped quarters. In spare, intense prose, Fink records the modest acts of courage, and the delicate shifts in consciousness amidst unimaginable horror. She shows us as well the survivors' desperate search for traces or clues: a torn piece of paper, a half-forgotten address, initials carved into a windowsill, any mention, any at all, of a loved one. At once ter and unsparing, elegiac and ironic, these seemingly simple stories present the complexity of life as it was lived in the darkest days of our century.