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Bookreporter Talks To

May 20, 2021

Pam Jenoff joins us to talk about her latest New York Times bestseller, THE WOMAN WITH THE BLUE STAR.

Inspired by true events, THE WOMAN WITH THE BLUE STAR tells the story of Sadie Gault, a young woman who takes refuge with her family in the sewers beneath the Krakow Ghetto as Nazis begin to ship Jews to the camps in the middle of WWII. While walking one day Ella, a young Polish girl, spies Sadie beneath the sewer grate and they strike up a conversation. Horrified by their situation, Ella offers to bring them food and supplies, which puts herself at risk. As the war worsens, so does the risk to their lives, and at each day there are challenges for both of them.

Pam talks to Carol about how she found the kernel of this story, and how her experiences living in Poland shaped her thoughts on the narrative. She also shares how she views her place in speaking on that history. Their conversation covers a lot of ground about the unexpected consequences of war.

Before she began writing, she had experience in foreign service, stationed in Poland for a couple of years, and several years as an attorney. She continues to teach law school while she writes, and many of her experiences from these other parts of her life have found their way into her stories.

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