A Jewish photojournalist fights fascism in Europe in the 1930s.
Gerda Pohorylle came of age as the Nazi Party rose to power. As a teenager, she became involved with the leftist political movement in Germany, battling the nascent fascism of her country and campaigning for workers’ rights. After a run-in with the Gestapo, she fled to Paris in 1933. There, she found a new community of organizers and radicals and learned the importance of a united movement. Enamored with photography from a young age and finally in possession of the tools to pursue it, she worked with her lover, André Friedmann, to document the anti-fascist movement. The pair chose new professional names: Robert Capa and Gerda Taro. Their coverage of the Spanish Civil War brought renown and a new home among like-minded artists, writers, and activists. Wilson shares Pohorylle’s story with stunning efficiency through an economy of language that wrings sweetness from every word. The free-form verse is written in the present tense, each moment of the story its own indelible snapshot. The book captures the subject’s life and the times she lived through with complexity and depth: This is not just a story of the violence of fascism, but of the burning joy of freedom and the exhilaration of shaping, with sweat and blood, a better world. It’s a struggle that continues today, and Wilson skillfully draws connections between past and present.
Fresh, insightful, and rich with history.(dramatis personae, author’s note, selected sources, glossary) (Verse historical fiction. 13-18)