Much interest has been generated about the impact of trauma and in particular, the transmission of trauma from generation to generation. In this poignant and humorous coming-of-age memoir, Toronto psychotherapist, Pearl Goodman, writes about just that. She embodies her parents’ past in ways that aren’t obvious to her, and grows up in an environment that she feels at odds with. She weaves her parents’ traumatic fragments during WW2 into the events of her own life in Toronto, adds what she learns from Television, and in that process gains perspective, understanding and hope.
Reviews and Endorsements:
With a keen attention to detail, Pearl Goodman deftly weaves her parents' tragic stories and their aftermath, Canadian realities, and her own, to reveal how legacies of traumatic experiences are lived out from generation to generation. A compelling and insightful read.
Dr. Yael Danieli, Clinical psychologist and Director, Group Project for Holocaust Survivors and their Children. New York, NY
Pearl Goodman’s memoir does far more than paint a vivid and often wryly funny picture of her childhood in 1960s Toronto. It charts her growing understanding that her parents' frailties and the consequent eccentricities of her upbringing were not willful or whimsical, but the ongoing outcome of their suffering during the Holocaust. When Their Memories Became Mine is a moving first-hand account of the way trauma passes from one generation to the next, and how a child of survivors has risen to the difficult task of excavating and articulating a family history that is both intensely personal and historically relevant.
— Kathy Page, author of Alphabet and Paradise & Elsewhere
Part local history, part cultural nostalgia and part rumination on the legacy of the Holocaust Pearl Goodman's memoir When Their Memories Became Mine (Bridgeross) is a moving, witty portrait of a life. Raised in Toronto by Holocaust survivors, Pearl tells both their story and hers. She also paints a picture of a Toronto struggling, sometimes comically, to find its identity.
— Open Book: Toronto
When Their Memories Became Mine movingly and powerfully invokes a time and a place and a feeling. Mid-Century, mid-town Toronto, a Jewish family and community rebuilds marked by losses that erupt in unpredictable and anachronistic ways. Time has stopped and time has moved on. Pearl Goodman deftly and compassionately remembers the minefields of living with survivor parents in an era when pop was young.
— Julia Creet PhD: Department of English at York University
About the Author:
Pearl Goodman was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. After graduating from the University of Toronto, she taught high school English and Dramatic Arts. Then she chose to train as a psychotherapist and has now been in private practice for over ten years. Words and the human condition have always been her passions.