A Dialogue with Kathy Kacer

Published: April 8th 2010
in Culture » Books

Author Kathy Kacer
Pic: www.KathyKacer.com
Book cover: Restiti\ution
Pic: Second Story Press

I grew up hearing both of my parents talk about their experiences during the war – my mother’s stories of hiding, and my father’s experiences in the camps. I always say that my parents had some kind of innate sensitivity about how much to tell me and how to let the stories unfold. I was proud of their survival stories and passionate about them and determined – particularly after both my parents had died – to begin to write those stories down. I think initially, I was writing for my own, then young children. They had never had an opportunity to hear my parents speak. But eventually I decided I would try my hand at writing for other children. I never imagined that my books would be received with such enthusiasm. And I certainly never imagined that I would be writing exclusively Holocaust stories. But with the success of some of my books, other survivors began to contact me, saying they too had stories that needed to be told. Those stories also captivated me, and here I am, 14 books later, and all of my books have focused on stories of the Holocaust. What is most important in this is that my audience of readers is not just Jewish. My books are in the public schools and the Catholic schools. I speak across the country to audiences of young people who are able to access this time in history through my stories. With the realization that this community of survivors is aging, and it won’t be long before their firsthand accounts of this history is lost, I am even more determined to continue to capture and record their stories.


Your career previous to being a writer was as a psychologist. Like your books, your previous career delves into the past to unearth issues for a better future. Why did you become a psychologist?


I wish I could tell you that I had those goals in mind when I pursued psychology in university years ago. The truth is, I kind of fell into that direction, taking courses that interested me, but unsure of where I was going. As it turned out, I had a wonderful career as a psychologist and really loved the work. I think I have always had a real interest in the human psyche – how people think and why. I don’t consciously use those skills in my writing and speaking, though I think they are always with me.
















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