This summer, assisting O.R. & Eva Mitchell Distinguished Professor of Literature Victoria Aarons, Megan Reynolds ‘16 is investigated the narratives of third generation Holocaust writers-- the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. Reynolds, reading authors such as Margot Singer, Jonathon Safron Foer, Julie Orringer, Nicole Krauss, and Erika Dreifus, considered how these writers address their family histories in their writing and how the trauma of the Holocaust is expressed in their work.
|Reynolds research focuses on the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.|
Sometimes these traumas are less subtle: Jonathan Safran Foer, in Everything is Illuminated, tells the story of a baby girl born during the wagon accident that takes both of her parents’ lives. She is literally born into trauma, and her life is affected by the circumstances of a birth over which she had no control. This same kind of feeling that a person has inherited trauma he or she did not directly experience or cannot remember characterizes third generation narratives.
|Reynolds read a variety of books and stories by third generational authors, as well as secondary criticism.|
Reynolds’ research with Aarons points to a desire on the part of these authors to reconstruct and reassemble the fragmented lives of those who survived the Holocaust, as well as their descendants and thus carry the memory of the Holocaust into the future.
|Reynolds is a senior this fall.|
Learn more about undergraduate research opportunities at Trinity here.