Chapter 2

The Good Story

Survivors scarcely spoke of their torment. They did not tell their children. They repressed their memories. Perhaps discretion seemed the safer course; certainly it seemed the more dignified. … But there was something else, something really unsayable. Survival itself was somehow shameful, unbearable. By what right, after all, had one lived ?

—Roger Cohen1

Return of the Repressed

In early November 2014, a website alerted me that someone had searched for my column “War Stories for a New Generation.” I had forgotten I ever wrote the piece, which appeared in a small magazine in 1992, but it now felt like the first shoot of what had since grown into a tree (or ­perhaps a small grove) of ongoing concern with the legacy of ...

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