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Las cartas que nunca llegaron, Mauricio Rosencof

This book is linked with this month’s movie recommendation, La noche de 12 años (A Twelve-Year Night).  Originally written in Spanish, this book is in English (The Letters That Never Came), this book comes in three parts: his childhood in the 1930’s, his parents who are Polish-Jewish immigrants (and the horrors they and their relatives faced in concentration camps) and his twelve years in solitary confinement (this part relates to the movie).  In fact, most of this story came during his time in prison – the narration occurs in his head, as he spent most of those twelve years without even a pen and paper.  You would think the title refers to letters from his family that never arrives, but it’s actually the opposite.  The letters are from Rosencof’s relatives during the Holocaust.  


Just like many of Rosencof’s books, there is a very poetic prose to his lines.  There are only three parts – no chapters.  It is barely 100 pages, but it feels like a lifetime packed in a few pages.  We learn about Rosencof’s childhood – the death of his brother and the hardships his family has faced.  Although the book may be difficult (and I only would recommend it to natives or college students), it is beautiful and enriching.  I suggest watching the movie first as it’ll paint the picture of Rosencof’s life in jail and what he went through.  It’s a beautiful story and it’s worth reading.  Many of his works are lower in circulation so it may be difficult to find, but I was able to find it on Amazon.  It’s also available in English if you’re interested!  But all in all, a challenging but worthwhile read!


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