Welcome to the website of Canadian author Judith Kalman. Judith has written about her family of origin’s story of immigration, and historical Holocaust trauma. Her work crosses the genres of fiction and memoir.
Judith’s most recent book is Called to Testify: The Big Story in My Small Life, published by Sutherland House Books in spring 2022.
This book was inspired by Judith’s participation in the Nazi war crimes trial of Oskar Gröning. Called to Testify: The Big Story in My Small Life is a memoir about the meaning of life in the wake of traumatic events, coming to terms with your identity, and understanding the magnitude of what can never be restored.
You can find the book for purchase below by clicking on the icons
Judith on why she writes:
“Writers are often asked why they write what they write. In my experience, it isn’t really a matter of choice. I write about what rises to the surface from a kind of necessity, what insists on making itself known. If I’m lucky, this subject leads me by the nose to its ultimate conclusion. When I was writing The County of Birches, I kept being surprised by aspects of my Jewish upbringing that repeatedly insinuated themselves into the work. I thought I was writing an immigrant story. I saw myself as belonging in every way to that broad category of our country’s population, those who came to Canada from somewhere else. What’s this, I thought, when the words Jew and Jewish peppered the page? Not until I followed those crumbs did the story and my subject reveal themselves.
My latest book is Called to Testify: The Big Story in My Small Life. Its working title had been Lost and Found. I kept writing about loss, thinking I was working up to various kinds of restitution. The idea of restitution hung like a carrot in my mind’s eye, tantalizing but always just out of reach. I wrote my way to the end without getting even a nibble. I’d written something else, the story of my life as it was governed by another, much larger narrative. That’s how it goes, you write—not what you know—but what gets you there.”