Nancy K. Miller

Nancy K. Miller is the author of What They Saved, the story of how she reconstructed her family’s missing past from a handful of mysterious objects passed down from her father. The strange collection—locks of hair, a postcard from Argentina, a cemetery receipt, letters written in Yiddish—moved her to search for the people who had left these traces of their lives and to understand what had happened to them. As Ms. Miller slowly pieced together her family portrait and assembled a genealogical tree, she felt connected in unexpected ways to an immigrant narrative that began in Eastern Europe at the turn of the twentieth century, when her ancestors headed for the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

At the end of her decade-long quest, Ms. Miller started to imagine the life she might have had with the missing side of her family. Suspended between what had been lost and what she found, Ms. Miller finally comes to terms with the bittersweet legacy of the third generation—tantalizing fragments of disappeared worlds.

Nancy K. Miller has written, edited, or co-edited more than a dozen volumes, including Getting Personal, Bequest and Betrayal, and But Enough About Me.

Books Authored

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“‘Every new piece of information keeps me on the road to the ever-expanding possibility of the quest, a quest that in the end will still yield only partial knowledge—and will never give me,