Join Gramercy Books owner Linda Kass in conversation with distinguished historian Robin Judd, for the official book launch of her eagerly awaited second novel, A Ritchie Boy, the poignant, compelling tale of one young immigrant’s triumph over adversity as he journeys from Europe to America, and from boyhood to manhood, while taking part in the US Army’s Military Intelligence operations during World War II. The novel is set during the dawn of World War II and the disruptive decade that follows.
Jewish Columbus, Ohio State’s Department of History, Ohio State’s Melton Center for Jewish Studies, and Temple Israel are Gramercy’s Community Partners for Kass’s virtual appearance. Registration is on Eventbrite where attendees will receive login information and full instructions. A general admission ticket to access the event is $5; A ticket that includes a signed paperback or hardcover copy of A Ritchie Boy waives the general admission fee and is $18 and $27, respectively.
1938. Eli Stoff and his parents, Austrian Jews, escape to America just after the Nazis take over their homeland. Within five years, Eli enlists in the US Army and, thanks to his understanding of the German language and culture, joins thousands of others like him like him who become known as Ritchie boys, young men who work undercover in Intelligence on the European front to help the Allies win World War II. In A Ritchie Boy, different characters tell interrelated stories that, together, form a cohesive narrative about the circumstances and people Eli encounters from Vienna to New York, from Ohio to Maryland to war-torn Europe, before he returns to the heartland of his new country to set down his roots.
Linda Kass began her career as a magazine writer and correspondent for regional and national publications. Her work has previously appeared in TIME, The Detroit Free Press, Columbus Monthly, and more recently, Full Grown People, The MacGuffin, and Kenyon Review Online. She is the author of the historical novel, Tasa’s Song and the founder and owner of Gramercy Books, an independent bookstore in central Ohio.
Robin Judd is an Associate Professor of History at The Ohio State University. She is an expert in modern European and Jewish history. Judd is the U.S. Editor of The Journal of Modern Jewish Studies and is Vice President of Programming for the Association of Jewish Studies.