Art Spiegelman's Maus, Cynthia Ozick's The Shawl, and Eva Hoffman's Lost in Translation and Exit into History are recent American texts that draw upon cultural histories of Poland to launch their narratives. Each text confronts and reconstructs fragments of twentieth-century Poland at the interactive sites of collective culture and personal memory. By focusing on the contested relationship between Poles and Jews before, during, and after World War II, these texts dredge up the ghosts of centuries-long ethnic animosities. In the post-Cold War era, wherein Eastern Europe struggles to redefine itself, such texts have a formative influence in re-mapping the future of national identities.

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