Author Leila Levinson will give a free public lecture and reading from her award-winning book Gated Grief: The Daughter of a GI Concentration Camp Liberator Discovers a Legacy of Trauma, at the Round Rock Public Library at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8.
As the daughter of a Nazi concentration camp liberator, Levinson was a close observer of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), though science hadn't yet defined it when her father came home.
Levinson's father never spoke about his World War II experience, but after his death, she found the box of photographs that spoke of the horrors he never could.
Inspired by her father's shocking Holocaust camp photographs, Levinson explores the link between soldiers' trauma and the way it affects members of their families when they return home.
With the return of American soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, Gated Grief is an urgent and timely read for soldiers and their families. Its aim is to build a bridge between veterans and their children – a bridge of stories.
Gated Grief received the 2011 President's Award from the Military Writers Society of America and the 2012 May Sarton Memoir Award from the Story Circle Network. A freelance commentator on cultural issues, Levinson has appeared on CNN, is a regular contributing blogger for Huffington Post, and her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Austin American Statesman, The Texas Observer, WWII Quarterly, CrossCurrents and War, Literature, and Art.
Levinson is also the founder of www.veteranschildren.com, a website where veterans and their children are invited to share their stories. She lives with her husband and two sons in Austin, Texas.