on the screen

On the Screen

View All



View All


Helping those in need

Visit Site

MP3 Audio Sample

goodreads logo

Short Synopsis
A radiant debut collection of linked stories from a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, set in a German-occupied town in Poland, where mythic tales of Jewish folklore meet the real-life monsters of the Nazi invasion.

Full Synopsis
1942. With the Nazi Party at the height of its power, the occupying army empties Poland's towns and cities of their Jewish populations. As neighbor turns on neighbor and survival often demands unthinkable choices, Poland has become a moral quagmire—a place of shifting truths and blinding ambiguities.

Blending folklore and fact, Helen Maryles Shankman shows us the people of Wlodawa, a remote Polish town. We meet a cold-blooded SS officer dedicated to rescuing the Jewish creator of his son's favorite picture book; a Messiah who appears in a little boy's bedroom to announce that he is quitting; a young Jewish girl who is hidden by the town's most outspoken anti-Semite—and his talking dog. And walking among these tales are two unforgettable figures: the enigmatic and silver-tongued Willy Reinhart, commandant of the forced labor camp who has grand schemes to protect "his" Jews, and Soroka, the Jewish saddlemaker and his family, struggling to survive.

Channeling the mythic magic of classic storytellers and the psychological acuity of modern-day masters, In the Land of Armadillos is a testament to the persistence of humanity in the most inhuman conditions.

"Blending the horrors of war with the supernatural, [Shankman] creates a literary landscape that is strangely mythical and distinctively her own." ---Sarai Walker, author of Dietland

"There is, in fact, literary magic in these well told tales." ---Gloria Goldreich, author of The Bridal Chair

"The writing is fantastic, and I marvel at Shankman's literary skills." ---Maggie Anton, author of Enchantress

"A deeply humane demonstration of wringing art from catastrophe." ---Kirkus

"Narrator Elizabeth Wiley delivers this unique addition to the canon of Holocaust literature without a flaw. Wiley's ability to juxtapose Shankman's descriptions of Nazi atrocities with the serenity and beauty of the natural world is expertly understated." ---AudioFile
AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

In the Land of Armadillos

Author Helen Maryles Shankman

Narrated by Elizabeth Wiley

Publication date Mar 29, 2016

Running time 9 hrs 29 min

Available Formats

Let us know!