Alison Leslie Gold

Alison Leslie Gold

Alison Leslie Gold’s Holocaust and World War II-related works include Anne Frank Remembered, written with Miep Gies, who hid Anne Frank, Memories of Anne Frank: Reflections of a Childhood Friend, A Special Fate, and Fiet’s Vase and Other Stories of Survival. Elie Wiesel wrote of Alison and Anne Frank Remembered: “Without her and her talent of persuasion, without her writer’s talent, too, this poignant account, vibrating with humanity, would not have been written.”

Alison’s nonfiction work has received tributes ranging from a Best of the Best Award (granted by the American Library Association) to a Notable Book for a Global Society Award to a Christopher Award. She has also published fiction, including Clairvoyant and The Devil’s Mistress, the latter being nominated for the National Book Award. All her work has been widely translated. Alison Leslie Gold divides her time between Manhattan, Greece and British Columbia.


Dizzy and exhausted, arrived on the island during the first heat wave of the year. I couldn’t find the new bakery which is up a narrow side street where the old post office once was although I pride myself on being able to navigate this island blindfolded. I was momentarily lost. It hurts that the old bakery from which I’ve gotten thousands of loaves of bread has shut.

I must hold onto the railing as I lower the bucket to the bottom of my cistern, filling it with rainwater, tossing bucket after bucket on the dry geraniums in their broken earthenware pots.

Whitecaps roll across the salty sea. Still dizzy I must hold onto walls as I cross the dry river bed and climb stone steps, bringing me to the back road and guiding me into the cemetery to drink morning coffee at your grave.

Across the top of your grave on a slab of marble, your name below a Cyrillic cross. I pour coffee into cups, put yours with a thick slab of buttered bread from a bakery you’ll never frequent onto the gravestone. My dizziness drains away as I eat bread and drink coffee with you; as the sounds of roosters and donkeys plays tag in the strong, jasmine–laced breeze.

Text in this post: © Alison Leslie Gold
Published with the permission of Alison Leslie Gold