From the Newsletter | New Fiction From Moment: ‘Polonaise’

This piece is adapted from Moment‘s flagship newsletter, Moment Minute. Sign up here.


Moment’s most recent short fiction story, “Polonaise,” revolves around a young Hungarian emigre and an American pianist who are brought together by the music of Chopin. Written by Rona Aratothe story won third place in the 2020 Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest (2021 winners will be announced soon). Like the second-place winner “Private,” “Polonaise” touches on the Shoah and its lingering effects on survivors and those with whom they come into contact.

Exploring the Holocaust continues to be fertile ground for fiction writers—although not without controversy. When I interviewed Cynthia Ozick earlier this year, she told me, “There is more truth-telling in a dutifully conscientious German freight report for so many Stücke (literally pieces, as in commodities) heading eastward with its caged and agonized Jews than in any effort of the imagination.” Moment explored the power and perils of Holocaust fiction in a Zoominar with authors Ruby Namdar (The Ruined House), Ruth Franklin (A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction) and Moment editor-in-chief Nadine Epstein (Elie Wiesel: An Extraordinary Life and Legacy) earlier this year. Watch it here—and make sure to read all three of the winning stories.

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