Eleanor Reissa

Audiofile Review of The Letters Project

"Eleanor Reissa, a prominent actress and singer in Jewish theater, delivers an intimate account of her journey into her parents' past. After her mother died at age 64, Reissa discovered a cache of 56 letters written by her father just after WWII hidden in her mother's lingerie drawer. In her quest to make sense of the Holocaust and to understand her seemingly unknowable father, Reissa travels to Poland and Germany. There she uncovers revealing government documentation of her father's time in Auschwitz, though the horrors of the camps are mitigated by the German translators' bureaucratic jargon, giving Reissa many opportunities to make searing, sardonic comments. In a voice that is pleasantly inflected with Brooklyn/"Yiddishized" English rhythms, Reissa's deft narration is personal, immediate, and worthy listening."