No Place to Lay One's Head
I'm honoured that my translation of Françoise Frenkel's No Place to Lay One's Head will be published on 1 May by Vintage. Frenkel, a Polish Jewish woman, opened the first French language bookstore in Berlin in the 1920's. But she was compelled to abandon it when life as a Jewish woman and foreign business owner became untenable after the National Socialist rise to power. No longer able to maker her way back to family in Poland, she returned to Paris, but was then compelled to keep moving south. Writing in French, Frenkel bears witness to the unravelling of French society as she, like so many others, is forced to live a life in hiding, seeking refuge with strangers while she prepares her escape over the Alps to Switzerland, and freedom. Her memoir, written with dignity and piercing sensibility, is the story of those fleeing terror the world over. It is published with a Preface by Nobel laureate, Patrick Modiano. I'm so grateful to Meredith Curnow at Penguin Random House for her support in bringing this story to an English speaking audience for the first time.