Allison Nazarian has published a new memoir about how her family’s connection to the Holocaust shaped her life called “Aftermath: A Granddaughter’s Story of Legacy, Healing & Hope.” The journalist and author spoke about her book in an interview with Jewish Business News.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Allison Nazarian is an award-winning copywriter and the founder of Allison Media Group. A native of the Washington, DC area, Allison lives with her family in South Florida.
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She describes her new book as the first-of-its-kind memoir by a “3G, ” or grandchild of Holocaust survivors. Aftermath is about being born into a history that never goes away. It is about reconciling memories of a tragic past with hopes for a better future. It is about the delicate balance between a proud legacy and a burdensome responsibility.
— Allison Nazarian ???? (@AllisonNazarian) September 22, 2016
Nazarian explained what drove her to write this book:
“Almost everything I’d ever experienced, thought or been taught drove me to write this book! In other words, there was nothing that didn’t drive me to write this book, ” she said.
“I have known since I was 20-years-old (and probably before that) that, eventually, I would need to share this story in this way if I wanted to live a life of peace and understanding and acceptance. As I said in the book, I would likely, eventually, have exploded with this story untold inside of me. When I started the book, and when I first knew that I would write it, both my mom and my grandmother were alive. They have both since passed away, which added to the enormity–for me–of this task and of this responsibility. While it is my story, I feel that I also represent them, and as such have an even greater responsibility to do right by them. Ultimately, this book is a gift to my own kids who are now young adults and for whom most of this is still somewhat new and unknown.”
On how her Jewish identity is founded on Allison’s grandmother’s story:
“My Jewish identity as someone who was growing up immersed in my grandparents’ story was, for sure, 100% forged and molded by their history. That was a given and there could not have been another way or outcome, ” she told Jewish Business News.
“As I grew older and reached my own adulthood, I began to look at what mattered to me–and why– through the eyes of an independent adult. Without question–and this is something I talk about in the book–my Jewish identity did change. My relationship to Judaism changed. What mattered to me in relation to Judaism changed. But it was and still is always shaped by what my grandparents endured, by their survival, by the fact that solely because they were Jewish they were thrust into and ultimately came out alive of this thing called The Holocaust.”
Her business Allison Media Group works with corporations and organizations of all sizes and kinds to “put their own stories into words.” Usually, these words end up on websites, on blogs, in speeches or articles or brochures, on social media and in other places where sales are made and stories are told. “Far more often than not, these stories are not personal like the story we are talking about here, but I believe all business is, ultimately, personal, so it’s important to get the stories right, ” she explained.
On her career Allison said that, “As a copywriter, I’m not having a ‘Mad Men’ like experience as far as excitement or appeal, but that is mostly by choice. I also made a choice early on in my career that freedom and autonomy were more important to me than anything else, so I chose to remain self-employed and work from a home office–both significant life choices that have affected myself and my family for two decades now. I like to say I specialize in taking topics, services and products that some might consider dry or even boring and making them accessible, relatable and even interesting.”
Aftermath: A Granddaughter’s Story Of Legacy, Healing & Hope, is 212 pages long and available both in paperback and for Amazon Kindle.
Contineu Reading : Read The First Two Chapters Here