Neglected Book

Felstiner, Mary Lowenthal, To Paint Her Life: Charlotte Salomon in the Nazi Era (1994).

Mary Felstiner is a historical detective who would put Kinsey Millhone to shame for pure doggedness, creativity, incisiveness and true heart. Without Felstiner, the extraordinary and heartbreaking story of German painter and holocaust victim Charlotte Salomon would be unknown. And into the bargain, Felstiner unearthed a Nazi war criminal! In these hideous times, history can be a weapon against horror, can convey the sometimes seemingly insane hope that the sparks of genius and compassion can survive everything from family madness to genocide. Thanks, Mary. Please keep writing.

Recommended by Virginia Joy Scharff, Department of History, University of New Mexico

I am the author of Taking the Wheel: Women and the Coming of the Motor Age (1991) and the forthcoming Twenty Thousand Roads: Women's Movements and the West. I also write mystery novels under the name of Virginia Swift, including Brown-Eyed Girl (2000) and Bad Company (forthcoming, 2002).