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Bloomsbury presents Come to This Court and Cry by Linda Kinstler, read by Laurence Bouvard.

To probe the past is to submit the memory of one's ancestors to a certain kind of trial. In this case, the trial came to me.

A few years ago Linda Kinstler discovered that a man fifty years dead—a former Nazi who belonged to the same killing unit as her grandfather—was the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation in Latvia. The proceedings threatened to pardon his crimes. They put on the line hard-won facts about the Holocaust at the precise moment that the last living survivors—the last legal witnesses—were dying.

Across the world, Second World War-era cases are winding their way through the courts. Survivors have been telling their stories for the better part of a century, and still judges ask for proof. Where do these stories end? What responsibilities attend their transmission, so many generations on? How many ghosts need to be put on trial for us to consider the crime scene of history closed?

In this major non-fiction debut, Linda Kinstler investigates both her family story and the archives of ten nations to examine what it takes to prove history in our uncertain century. Probing and profound, Come to This Court and Cry is about the nature of memory and justice when revisionism, ultra-nationalism and denialism make it feel like history is slipping out from under our feet. It asks how the stories we tell about ourselves, our families and our nations are passed down, how we alter them, and what they demand of us.

©2022 Linda Kinstler (P)2022 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"Before reading (devouring) Come to This Court and Cry, I wouldn't have thought a book like this was even possible. A moving family portrait on top of a sensational whodunit murder on top of a brilliant mediation on memory, the law, and identity? And yet here it is. Linda Kinstler has threaded the needle. This book is many things, and yet it fits together perfectly... It's a marvel." (Menachem Kaiser, author of Plunder)

"First I was moved, then I was gripped and now I am haunted by Linda Kinstler's astonishing new book." (Ben Judah, author of This Is London)

"The atrocities of the twentieth century have still not passed, still less the effects of the period’s most pernicious secrets. Now a new generation is reckoning with the crimes of the Holocaust and the dark shadows of the Cold War. In this brilliant and compelling book, Linda Kinstler takes us back to Latvia, to her family history, and to a question which – in our new age of fascist-tolerance – is more urgent still: what is justice?'" (Lyndsey Stonebridge)

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