For Canadian author and poet Alison Pick, it was her personal journey of discovering and reclaiming her Jewish identity that led to her greatest professional success. The 35-year-old recently won the 2010 Canadian Jewish Book Award for fiction, being presented May 30 in Toronto, for her historical novel, “Far to Go,” about a Czechoslovakian Jewish family on the eve of World War II. Available last fall in Canada, the book was published this spring in Italy, the Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.S. Following many positive reviews, it was listed as one of the 10 best books of 2010 in The Toronto Star and NOW Magazine, and named among the top 40 books of the decade by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Pick recently spoke with The Arty Semite from her home in Toronto, where she lives with her husband and young daughter, about how the revealing of family secrets and her decision to embrace Judaism informed her creative process.
Renee Ghert-Zand: How did you not know until you were a young adult that your father’s family was Jewish?
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