Found and Lost – Mittens, Miep, and Shovelfuls of Dirt by Alison Leslie Gold

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Alison Leslie Gold is best known for her works that have kept alive stories from the time of the Holocaust, stories of bravery and survival – most famously her Anne Frank Remembered, co-authored with Miep Gies (Anne Frank’s protector). She has never chosen to write about her own life or what made her into a gatherer of other people’s stories, until now, in Found and Lost: Mittens, Miep and Shovelfuls of Dirt. She has chosen to go back to her childhood in order to chart the origin of her need to save object, stories, people – including herself – who she has sensed to be on a road to perdition.

Starting with her childhood experience of running her primary school ‘Lost and Found’ depot, Gold develops, through a series of letters, a meditation on ageing, friendship, loss and the forces that link us to the dead. In the very act of writing, she begins to find a route out of depression and grief.

In this haunting memoir, Alison Gold gives a luminous account of key moments in her life that brought her to be the writer she is. They tell of her early activism; they tell of her descent into alcoholism; they tell of her recovery; they tell of her discovery of the power of writing to give a shape and meaning to a life. Found and Lost is both a tender memorial to the extraordinary people in her life, and a compelling tale of redemption.

Alison Leslie Gold’s works include Anne Frank Remembered, written with Miep Gies, Memories of Anne Frank: Reflections of a Childhood Friend, A Special Fate and Fiet’s Vase and Other Stories of Survival. Her non-fiction work has received numerous tributes including a Best of the Best Award, a Notable Book for a Global Society Award and a Christopher Award. She has also published fiction, including Clairvoyant and The Devil’s Mistress, the latter being nominated for a National Book Award. She divides her time between Manhattan, Hydra (Greece) and British Columbia.

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