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CSM’s Oct. 6 Connections Literary Series Features Writer Jennifer Rosner Debuting her Novel Based on True Stories of Jewish Children Hidden During WWII

October 3, 2021

CSM’s Oct. 6 Connections Literary Series Features Writer Jennifer Rosner Debuting her Novel Based on True Stories of Jewish Children Hidden During WWII


The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) invites the public to meet Novelist Jennifer Rosner as she discusses her debut novel “I Know Why the Yellow Bird Sings,” during CSM’s Connections Literary Series Oct. 6. Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Rosner’s debut has been called “a breathtaking novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter” – and has earned her the title of National Jewish Book Award Finalist.

“I Know Why the Yellow Bird Sings” is set in war-torn Poland when Nazi soldiers were rounding up the Jewish people in Róza, and her 5-year-old daughter Shira’s, hometown. According to Rosner’s website, Róza and Shira flee seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden: The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom.

In this make-believe world, Róza can shield Shira from the horrors that surround them. But the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róza must make an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side or give her the chance to survive apart.

The New York Times offered this review: “Rosner’s exquisite, heart-rending debut novel is proof that there’s always going to be room for another story about World War II....This is an absolutely beautiful and necessary novel, full of heartbreak but also hope, about the bond between mother and daughter, and the sacrifices made for love.”

The event will be held virtually starting at 11:30 a.m. and will include book discussion and a question and answer session. Register to receive Zoom information. Free. https://www.csmd.edu/calendar/2021/10/connections-jennifer-rosner.html.

Learn more about Rosner at http://www.jennifer-rosner.com/


Connection Literary Series: Novelist Jennifer Rosner. Oct. 6. 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Zoom. Meet Novelist Jennifer Rosner and discuss her debut novel, “I Know Why the Yellow Bird Sings,” the story of a story of a Jewish mother and her child in hiding for their lives during WW2. Rosner’s short writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Massachusetts Review, The Forward and elsewhere, and her earlier memoir, “If a Tree Falls: A Family's Quest to Hear and Be Heard,” explores raising her deaf daughters in a hearing, speaking world. Both books explore themes of silence and sound, loneliness and connection. Register to receive Zoom information. Free. https://www.csmd.edu/calendar/2021/10/connections-jennifer-rosner.html
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