|Lost Landscapes is the account of an intensely emotional journey by an award-winning Polish writer and historian who searches for the remaining traces of the culture of Polish Jews-permanently erased by the Holocaust and the subsequent forty-five years of Communist rule.
Agata Tuszynska first learned about the Jews of Poland by reading the novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer, the Polish-born Yiddish novelist and short story writer. Surrounded by silent mementos of that lost world -- a cemetery full of broken tombstones, a cinema in an ancient synagogue -- she stubbornly refused to accept its passing, deciding to re-create it from the memories of its dispersed and now aged inhabitants. Her travels took her to small Polish towns, once vibrant with Singer's heroes and now empty of any Jewish presence, to the cafes of Tel Aviv and the Jewish neighborhoods of New York. There, speaking with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust, with Singer's colleagues and co-workers, working with the patient persistence of an archaeologist, she removes layers of pain and trauma to uncover memories deeply concealed and often purposely forgotten. From these personal and tragic experiences emerges a broad and tangled tapestry of Polish and Jewish lives lived side by side, observed in brilliant and vivid detail.