Third-Generation Holocaust Representation: Trauma, History, and Memory


Third-Generation Holocaust Representation: Trauma, History, and Memory



Victoria Aarons and Alan L. Berger show that Holocaust literary representation has continued to flourish well into the twenty-first century—gaining increased momentum even as its perspective shifts, as a third generation adds its voice to the chorus of post-Holocaust writers. In negotiating the complex thematic imperatives and narrative conceits of the literature of third-generation writers, this bold new work examines those structures, tropes, patterns, ironies, disjunctions, and overall tensions that produce a literature that laments unrecoverable loss for a generation removed spatially and temporally from the extended trauma of the Holocaust. Aarons and Berger address evolving notions of “postmemory”; the intergenerational and ongoing transmission of trauma; issues of Jewish cultural identity; inherited memory; the psychological tensions of post-Holocaust Jewish identity; the characteristic tropes of memory and the personalized narrative voice; issues of generational dislocation and anxiety; the recurrent antagonisms of assimilation and historical alienation; the imaginative re-creation and reconstruction of the past; and the future of Holocaust memory and representation.

Publication Date



Northwestern University Press


Holocaust, memory, trauma, history, third generation, literature, Jewish culture


Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature

Table of Contents

On the periphery : the "tangled roots" of Holocaust remembrance for the third generation -- The intergenerational transmission of memory and trauma : from survivor writing to post-Holocaust representation -- Third-generation memoirs : metonymy and representation in Daniel Mendelsohn's The Lost -- Trauma and tradition : changing classical paradigms in third-generation novelists -- Nicole Krauss : inheriting the burden of Holocaust trauma -- Refugee writers and Holocaust trauma -- "There were times when it was possible to weigh suffering" : Julie Orringer's The Invisible Bridge and the extended trauma of the Holocaust.

Original Publication Information

Northwestern University Press

Third-Generation Holocaust Representation: Trauma, History, and Memory