614 Online Magazine Runs Interview with Leslie

The online magazine of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute just ran an interview with me based on probing questions by writer and editor-in-chief Michelle Cove. The name of the magazine — 614 — has an interesting origin that Cove explains like this:

“In Judaism there are 613 mitzvot—commandments we Jews are all intended to follow. Some Jews feel these commandments, compiled by Maimonides, must be followed because they come directly from God; others suggest they are simply reasonable acts of justice and compassion intended to help us reach our best, most ethical selves. Either way, it’s an extremely comprehensive list, including everything from eating matzah on Passover and lighting Sabbath candles to giving money to charity and not bearing a grudge. The idea of 614 is not that there is one commandment missing. Rather, it is about the idea there is always room for innovation and exploration.”

Read more on www.614ezine.com

Freiburg Newspapers Focus on Crossing the Borders of Time

Crossing the Borders of Time received some wonderful coverage in Freiburg this summer! First the Freiburger Amtsblatt, the newspaper that the city of Freiburg sends to all households, very graciously devoted a full page to the book. A couple whose son lives in Freiburg brought me the paper when I spoke in July at Barnes & Noble in Bethesda. A small world, indeed. I was so pleased with the story, and only wished Sigmar and Alice could see it! Here’s the link to the paper. Scroll to page 5.

Adding to that, the regional newspaper, The Badische Zeitung, also gave a terrific full page to the book! Their thoughtful account was written by Alexander Preker and was published in August. Both papers ran a lovely array of photos, as well. Many thanks to all involved for this beautiful coverage! The link to the Zeitung piece is here.

The photo here shows Mom and me on our first reporting trip in Freiburg, when I wrote a piece about our journey for The NY Times. Between Mom (L) and me is Karin Hill (a photographer for The NYT in Germany). On the right is Walter Preker, still the mayor’s indefatigable press secretary, though City Hall has changed hands several times.

The Diane Rehm Show, August 22

I’ll be on a Readers’ Review panel discussing Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent on August 22Read more on the Diane Rehm Show website.

Crossing the Borders of Time in Amsterdam

I had a happy tourist experience when I stopped into the American Book Center in Amsterdam yesterday and spotted Crossing the Borders of Time on the New Non-fiction display:

When I purchased and signed a copy to give to a Dutch friend, the bookseller, Tiemen Zwaan, realized I was the author, brought me a stack of copies to sign, and placed “signed copy” stickers on each. He told me the book was selling very well in their store. Great fun! The shop is a lovely one, at Spui 12.

American Book Center, Amsterdam

Meeting Huberta von Voss-Wittig

Huberta von Voss-Wittig, a journalist who is the wife of Germany’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Peter Wittig, graciously hosted a dinner party in their Manhattan residence to celebrate the publication of Crossing the Borders of Time. It was an extraordinarily meaningful and memorable moment for me to be there as she spoke eloquently about the history evoked in the book. I only wished that my German-born grandparents, Sigmar and Alice Gunzburger, could have been with me to hear her.

My grandparents traced their roots in German soil back through several centuries, and it was with deep regret that they fled their home in Freiburg im. Breisgau in 1938. I know they would have been proud to see Ambassador and Mrs. Wittig celebrate my book, which delves into their German heritage and experience under Hitler.

Ambassador Wittig, who has represented Germany in the United Nations since 2009, earlier both studied and taught as an assistant professor at the University in Freiburg. Huberta von Voss-Wittig attracted public attention this past spring, when she and her British counterpart, Sheila Lyall Grant, released a video calling on Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to stand up for peace in her country.

Blackstone Audio’s Grover Gardner in conversation with Leslie Maitland

Blackstone Audio, which produced the AudioFile Earphones award-winning version of Crossing the Borders of Time, has posted an interview with Leslie on its blog. Listen to Leslie and Blackstone’s studio director, the renowned narrator Grover Gardner, as they discuss the book and Leslie’s experience narrating her own text. “I think I might have put in more periods and used shorter sentences,” she jokes, “if I’d realized that I was going to read it aloud!”

Listen to the full interview here.


‘Crossing’ wins AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award

Happy to share the news that the audio version of Crossing the Borders of Time won an AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award. It will be announced on their website in July and in their print magazine in the August/September issue. As described on the AudioFile website, the awards are presented to “truly exceptional presentations that excel in all the following criteria:
• Narrative voice and style
• Vocal characterizations
• Appropriateness for the audio format
• Enhancement of the text”

The AudioFile Review:

A True Story of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed
Leslie Maitland
Read by Leslie Maitland

Within minutes of pressing “play,” the listener may forget this is a work of nonfiction—so engrossing is its story and so vividly is it told. As the author, Maitland crafts the story of her mother’s life as a young Jewish woman during WWII. Her writing exhibits the detail of a reporter and the narrative skill of a novelist. As the performer, Maitland provides smooth pronunciation of French and German terms, as well as various European accents, and superb pacing. The story is vast in scope, but the blend of facts about the time period and the personal love story between Maitland’s mother and a young Frenchman make the production engrossing. L.B.F. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2012]

Leslie Blogs as “Visiting Scribe” for the Jewish Book Council

Leslie was the “visiting scribe,” writing for the Jewish Book Council’s blog, The ProsenPeople, in the week starting June 27.  In three posts, she wrote about the “Stumbling Stone” Holocaust memorial project in Europe, about the dilemma involved in choosing an epigraph for Crossing the Borders of Time, and about the American Joint Distribution Committee’s new online archives. Links to her pieces here.