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A BRILLIANT LIFE – My Mother’s Inspiring Story of Surviving the Holocaust by Rachelle Unreich

SJWF is pleased to host the Sydney book launch for A Brilliant Life. Journalist Rachelle Unreich will be in conversation with Magdalena Ball.

A Brilliant Life is the powerful true story of a Holocaust survivor told by her daughter – a tale that reminds us of the resilience of the soul and the ability of the heart to heal.

A mother and daughter. Love. Loss. Wonder. The story of a brilliant life.

Over seventy years had passed since Mira Unreich was freed from a concentration camp in Germany. On that spring day in 1945, she found herself alive, against all odds. In the decades that followed, she never explained the mystery underpinning her survival. How could Mira say that in the Holocaust ‘I learned about the goodness of people’? When Mira’s journalist daughter Rachelle realised time was running out for Mira, who was ill with cancer, she resolved to ask her mother questions. It would be the most important interview of her life: a chance to discover the secrets to her mother’s joy, and an opportunity to fit together the jigsaw puzzle pieces of her own life. Rachelle discovered so much more than she ever expected. Mira’s words would lead her along a surprising path, where she learned for the first time what a truly extraordinary life her mother had led.

A Brilliant Life weaves together the past and the present to capture the powerful connection between a mother and child. It reminds us of the resilience of the soul and the ability of the heart to heal. It is an unforgettable story about fate and chance, love and grief, and the deepest kind of faith.

Photo credit: Simon Schluter

Rachelle Unreich started her journalism career when she was completing her Arts/Law degrees at Monash University. In addition to studying writing at UCLA, she has lived in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Melbourne. She has been a journalist for over 37 years, and has had regular columns in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Herald Sun and Elle magazine. Her work has appeared extensively in Australia, the US, UK and South-East Asia. She currently lives in Melbourne.

Magdalena Ball is a novelist, poet, reviewer, interviewer, and managing editor of Compulsive Reader. Her stories, editorials, poetry, reviews, and interviews have appeared in a wide number of journals and anthologies and have won local and international awards. She is the author of several novels and poetry books, most recently, Bobish, a verse memoir published in 2023.



WHEN: 7pm, Wednesday 29 November 2023

WHERE: Randwick location

COST: $15


The book will be available for purchase on the night from our official bookseller, Gertrude & Alice Bookstore.

‘A delicate, evocative story of strength and survival that turns on one of the most powerful forces in the known universe:
a mother’s love.’ JONATHAN FREEDLAND, bestselling author of The Escape Artist