When: Wed., April 16, 7:30 p.m. 2014
In 1945, as Europe was in the worst wretches of World War II, a group of US soldiers stationed in Austria discovered a forty-train boxcar traveling through the countryside, filled with paintings, furniture, clothing, heirlooms, and more — all, they (and we) later learn, were stolen from Hungarian Jews during the occupation. That scene — bizarre in its presentation, heartbreaking in its implications, gut-wrenching in its description — forms the central scene, and the fundamental question, in Love and Treasure, the twelfth book from Berkeley’s Ayelet Waldman, which then goes on to track what happens to the contents over the course of the next six decades. It’s both a Holocaust novel that manages to avoid much of the moralizing of the genre, and a multigenerational family saga with real stakes. You’ll have two chances to hear Waldman read this week: First at Mrs. Dalloway’s (2904 College Ave., Berkeley) on Wednesday, and then at University Press Books (2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley) on Friday.