Once a Russian, Always a Jew: (Auto)biographical Storytelling and the Legacy of Dislocation

Storytelling, Self, Society, 8: 1, 2012, pp. 27–41.


Culled in part from nearly 20 hours of audio recordings of my father’s experiences with displacement prior to, during, and after World War II, this writing explores some conditions that make it possible for people to feel at home in the aftermath of forced dislocation and the ways in which storytelling can help break the subsequent cycle of violence that can emerge from such an experience. My father’s story is interspersed with my own narrative voice as well as a theoretical exploration of what is at stake for the storyteller and for those who bear witness to the stories told of experience at the nexus between memory and history.


The full text is freely available for download at the following link:

"Once a Russian, Always a Jew: (Auto)biographical Storytelling and the Legacy of Dislocation" (pdf)

This text was published in Storytelling, Self, Society, "an interdisciplinary journal that invites scholarship addressing any topic related to Storytelling--from its role as performing art to contemporary applications in a variety of professional fields". This journal can be accessed at the following link: