The Absent Moon

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When Luiz Schwarcz was a child, he was told little about his grandfather and namesake Láios - 'Luiz' in Hungarian. Only later would Luiz learn that Láios had defied his country's Nazi occupiers and ordered his son to leap from the train on the way to a German death camp, while Láios himself was carried on to his death. Young Luiz assumed responsibility for his parents' happiness, as many children of trauma do, and for a time he seemed to be succeeding. But then, at a high point of outward success, Luiz was brought low by a devastating mental breakdown. This astonishing memoir interrogates a personal story of mental health through a family history of murder, dispossession, silence, and the long echo of the Holocaust across generations.