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The Search: Meyer Levin, Lillian Hellman, and the Staging of the Diary

Illustrated by Eric Heuvel

The Search uses a graphic novel format to present the fictional experiences of one family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In this sequel to A Family Secret, Esther visits the Dutch farm where she hid during WWII to learn what happened to the people who helped her and the others in hiding. When her teenage grandson Daniel tracks down an old neighborhood friend, Bob, she is deeply shocked to hear his recounting of her parents’ final days in Auschwitz. Esther can barely recall her parents’ faces, but then her friend, Helena, remembers something…Hellman and her associates. Levin, who had written a more ‘Jewish’ play about Anne Frank, was convinced that a conspiracy existed to delete the Jewish elements from the diary. Melnick’s book is a thorough and careful study of what transpired among those opposed to Levin.