Finalist in the PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE SUMMER COLLECTION 2019 for Non-fiction and First Time Author.
This book charts the author’s long journey of healing from the trauma caused by having to go into hiding as a child and having to deny that she was Jewish. It is not intended as an autobiography or a clinical paper on the healing process but as an account of a very personal inner journey.
Marika Henriques records in words and images how she was shaped and her profession determined by historical events. She was born in Budapest in 1935. During the Holocaust in 1944, separated from her family, she became a hidden child. She was nine years old and those dark times had a profound and lasting effect on her. That being a Jew was shameful and had to be hidden remained deeply etched into her being for decades.
Fascism was followed by communism after the war. Persecuted once more, now for her middle class background, she escaped, at the age of twenty-one, in 1956 during the Hungarian uprising. She crossed the border on foot amongst mine fields in temperatures of minus 25 degrees centigrade. Eventually she arrived as a refugee in England and in 1961 she married a Swedish Jew.
In due course she found her vocation and became a Jungian psychotherapist. In doing, so she had to undergo psychoanalysis, during which the drawings and poems poured out of her as part of the healing process. Jung’s ideas were an integral part of the process of understanding herself and her images.
The drawings emerged unbidden, and were drawn quickly, without fully understanding what they signified. But over the years she has stitched 19 of them as tapestries. The gentler pace of stitching was all a part of the healing process, and they are woven together with the drawings and poems in the book as she unfolds her story, the story of wounding and healing, herself and others.
The culmination of this painstaking journey was to return to her tradition and people. It started with a major surgery and ended twenty years later on the pulpit, the bimah, of a synagogue.
To read more about Marika Henriques visit her author page.
A selection of comments from voters in The People’s Book Prize:
“A moving book. Creatively crafted. Deeply personal, yet universal and timeless.”
“An inspiring book for our times; it needs to be read. Marika is to be thanked for this gift of her story.”
“This is a beautiful book – both emotionally and visually – that expresses the power of healing through creativity and the brave exploration of the deepest parts of ourselves. A unique account that is brimming with the author’s humanity.”
“It is a book about the effect of trauma, the resilience of the human being to heal, and the power of art and creativity. It is an attempt to bring coherence and connection to something incoherent and solitary, voice to wordlessness, sound to silence, presence and substance to the invisible, ignored, non-witnessed and ‘hidden’.”
Alison Hawtin, BAAT Newsbriefing
“a therapeutic journey unlike any I have ever read …”
Tania Glynn, New Psychotherapist
“A mis-diagnosis of cancer that led to a major, life-changing operation, might have been the cause of endless resentment. Instead it became the spur to the release of dreams, images and ideas that crossed, to and fro, between her childhood and current life, gradually and through assiduous self-work, offering clarity and relief.”
Lindsay Wells, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, The Association for Group and Individual Psychotherapy (AGIP) Newsletter
“I believe that this wonderfully honest and thoughtful book can inspire us, and those we work with, to create our own narratives in response to trauma, and journey through a creative act of healing to become who we truly are.”
Elisabeth Hughes MBACP, Private Practice
“The pictures … offer insights into her feelings towards survival and to those who didn’t survive. The essays and poems are well written and make very interesting and thought-provoking reading.”
The Association of Jewish Refugees Journal
“This is a beautifully produced – and beautifully written – very personal, account of a troubled soul attempting to regain a balanced life. The account of her analysis, her dreams, and her subsequent life as a psychotherapist is one which no one else can really experience, but we are privileged to share Marika’s moving story in the hope that she has found what she seeks, a peaceful mind.”
Philippa Bernard, The Westminster Quarterly
“A powerful and moving story unlike any other Holocaust story I have read or seen, because it expresses deeply buried feelings not only in words but in extraordinary drawings, tapestries and poems. The combination is unique. This story will help many others who had traumatic beginnings.”
Lenka Murphy, formerly with The Prince’s Charities
“This is a work recalling the darkest period of European history and reminding us what happened and what can happen again, at any time and at any place, when people allow hatred to prevail … It is a must read for all, young and old, as each generation shall be spiritually uplifted, gaining strength and hope from stories such as these.”
Rabbi Dr Thomas Salamon, Liberal Judaism Today
“This is a book which has the ability to give hope and inspiration to anyone who has suffered. It is moving, written with courageous honesty, about profound experiences. It is a living example of the beneficial power of the psyche and our souls, if we follow and trust them, to lead us to a deep understanding of our personal selves and the collective world around us, accepting both the good and the evil, life and death. It is a remarkable book.”
Maggie Stanway, Chair of C. G. Jung Club London
“A poignant account, in prose, verse and images, of how its author Marika Henriques became separated from her family in Budapest during the Holocaust.”