More than any other ancestral hometown, Rybky, Slovakia has always had the strongest pull on my heart. Maybe that’s because it was the first ancestral hometown that I learned about when I was young, or maybe because it seemed to be a place that others were committed to remembering — or perhaps both. My grandfather … Continue reading
Yesterday, I found my great-great-great-grandparents’ grave in a plum orchard in Slovakia.
When I was in New York a few weeks ago, eating some amazingly good gelato on the Upper West Side, I realized we were only blocks away from where my great-grandmother Charlotte grew up at 202 West End Avenue. Her building doesn’t exist anymore – this high rise has taken the place of 202 and … Continue reading
Sometime right around when this photo was taken (I think this must have been Thanksgiving or sometime around then), my grandparents gave me an aquamarine ring as a Christmas/Hanukkah present. They died not that long after and for the last 21 years, I have spent almost every minute wearing that ring. It has become almost … Continue reading
my mother’s parents were taken away from me 17 years ago this past tuesday, and it will never not hurt. ethel kalisch hoffer (1918-1991), me, frank markus hoffer (1909-1991)
I have an obsession with blood, with the invisible past running through my veins and capillaries, pumping through my heart. I want to untwist the skeins of my own DNA, unravel the path that has brought it to me. I want to map my face, draw borders around each region of resemblance. I am driven … Continue reading