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Judy Batalion Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

White Walls (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Light of Days / Daughters of the Resistance (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Judy Batalion is best known as a comedian, writer, and scholar that is known for her knack for always finding humor in family. She has performed and written comedy theater, stand-up sketches, short films, one-woman shows, and improv in Canada and all over the United Kingdom and the United States.

She was born and brought up in Montreal where she was raised speaking Hebrew, English, Yiddish, and French and trying to keep herself warm. She is the granddaughter and daughter of Holocaust survivors and this would influence her later writing.

For college, she first went to Harvard where she studied the history of science before moving to London where she got her doctoral degree in art history. All this time, she worked as a muffins server, curator, translator, researcher, producer, comic, actor, MC, performer, dramaturge, and script reader.

She would eventually transform her many experiences into the material she would use for writing her novels. Before she penned her fiction, she wrote articles and essays for the Jerusalem Post, the New York Times, Salon, the Washington Post, the Forward, and Vogue among many other publications.

In her novels, Judy Batalion tells stories of militant minimalism, family relationships, pathological hoarding, and generational transmission of trauma.

Batalion first started working on her debut novel completely by accident in 2007. During this time, she had made her home in London and was busy exploring her identity as a Jewish woman.

As a child of Holocaust survivors, she could not help but think of the emotional legacy her parents and grandparents left for her. She had been working on a piece about how people respond to danger.

At some point, her mind went to how women confronted danger and this led her to start researching the story of a young Jewish woman named Hannah Senesh. She had moved from Hungary to Palestine just before the breakout of World War II. She would then join the Allied forces and serve in a Europe controlled by the Nazis.

She symbolized Jewish bravery and influenced Judy Batalion who wanted to understand her psychology. Looking for information about Senesh, she went to the British Library where she found a book written in Yiddish titled “Women in the Ghettos.”
It was full of photos, names, and bios of other Jewish women that fought the Nazis while living in their ghettos. The book was unlike any holocaust narrative she had ever read and she dove into the stories.

Ultimately, she felt that someone needed to tell these stories and this would result in her debut novel “White Walls” that she published in 2015.

After publishing “White Walls,” the novel became a blockbuster title that garnered critical acclaim. Thereafter, Judy Battalion penned the New York Times bestselling title “The Light of Days” in 2021.

The work would become the winner of the Jewish Literary Award in Canada and a winner of the National Jewish Book Award. The novel has since been adapted into a children’s book and also won several awards in that format.
It has been optioned by Amblin Partners owned by Steven Spielberg and has been translated into nearly two dozen languages.

Judy currently makes her home in New York City where she lives with her husband and three kids.

“The Light of Days” by Judy Batalion is a thrilling and propulsive work similar to the likes of “A Train in Winter,” “Hidden Figures,” “Band of Brothers,” and “In the Garden of Beasts.”
It is a work that tells the incredible stories of women whose exploits and courage may have been forgotten in the mists of time.

As the daughter and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors with Polish roots, Batalion takes her readers to the beginning of the war in 1939.

She introduces us to messenger and weapons smuggler Renia Kukielka that risked death crossing Poland by train and on foot. Alongside Renia are several other women who served as saboteurs, couriers, intelligence agents, and armed fighters.
All the women put their lives in danger as they try to fulfill their mission. Judy follows these brave women through the arrests and imprisonment in the concentration camps and Gestapo prisons, the brutal destruction of the ghettos.
For a few women such as Renia, the author tells of her audacious escape from a Nazi prison and her journey to the present century and beyond.

Inspiring, powerful, and featuring more than twenty photographs from the Holocaust period, this work is a true tale of female friendship, exceptional bravery, the fight for freedom, and survival against huge odds.

Judy Batalion’s “White Walls” is a work that tells of the life and times of the author, particularly through the lens of motherhood and being a daughter. She grew up in a home full of layers of dust and crumbs and endless piles of junk given that her mother was a rabid collector.

She remembers being suffocated by ballpoint pens, tuna fish cans, VHS tapes, old magazines and papers, printers, swivel chairs, cameras, clocks, and tea bags that had been obsessively collected and stored by her hoarder mother.

The first opportunity she had she clamored to leave all that behind and make a new identity for herself. She wanted something with clean white walls and a new regimen with a lot of order.

But one day she found herself a mother and this resulted in one of the biggest chaos women have to deal with. She was suddenly confronted with the very difficult job of raising a daughter while she had gone through dysfunctional childhood.
She reflected on the lives of her grandmother abnd mother and her own upbringing. What she learned about her mother and grandmother was astonishing as she found that these women were more closely connected than she imagined even if they had their differences.
Despite the difficulties she had with her mother, learning about the relationship she had with her own mother slowly starts to heal her old wounds.

With nothing sugarcoated, Judy Batalion goes on a deep introspective die into her upbringing and relationship with her mother all of which influenced her feelings of motherhood, pregnancy, home, and self.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Judy Batalion

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