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Publisher's Summary

Why couldn’t I occupy the world as those model-looking women did, with their flowing hair, pulling their tiny bright suitcases as if to say, I just arrived from elsewhere, and I already belong here, and this sidewalk belongs to me?

When her marriage suddenly ends, and a diary documenting her beloved Opa’s escape from Nazi-occupied Netherlands in the summer of 1942 is discovered, Naomi Lewis decides to retrace his journey to freedom. Travelling alone from Amsterdam to Lyon, she discovers family secrets and her own narrative as a second-generation Jewish Canadian. With vulnerability, humour, and wisdom, Lewis’s memoir asks tough questions about her identity as a secular Jew, the accuracy of family stories, and the impact of the Holocaust on subsequent generations.

©2019 Naomi K. Lewis (P)2021 The University of Alberta Press

What the critics say

“Wry, moving and beautifully written - Naomi Lewis is a wonderful writer.” (Alison Pick, Booker nominated author of Between Gods and Strangers with the Same Dream)

“Early on in Tiny Lights for Travellers, author Naomi Lewis admits she is a poor traveller. She is, however, a master navigator of her own interior geography. In this quiet, humble, and profoundly openhearted memoir, Lewis maps her family’s history, her relationship to faith, and the loves she has both lost and gained. As a reader, I feel thankful to have been invited on the journey.” (Marcello Di Cintio, author of Pay No Heed to the Rockets)

“An irresistibly wise, poignant, and often funny memoir, a spiral dance through time and space exploring memory, desire, the roots of family, race, and religion; as well as what it means to belong in one’s own skin.” (Lauren B. Davis, author of The Grimoire of Kensington Market, The Empty Room, and others)

What listeners say about Tiny Lights for Travellers

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A wonderful journey and memoir

Naomi K. Lewis takes us on a journey through her Grandfathers WW2 story of escaping Holland, Belgium, and France, all while reconciling her journey through life so far. She writes with extremely sharp humour and honest emotion, leaving nothing on the cutting room floor because it might be too awkward to revisit in print. Its a wonderful book, I highly recommend giving this a listen this summer.