The Girl Who Stole Everything by Norman Ravvin is a novel set partly in Radzanow, northwest of Warsaw, and in Vancouver, Canada. It is an exploration of contemporary Poland and Canada as sites of Jewish memory and history. In both Radzanow and Vancouver, young characters discover aspects of their ancestral past that redirect their lives.
Radzanow, before World War Two, was a rather typical shtetl, with a Jewish market square economy and an impressive red brick synagogue opposite the large village church. Some of its inhabitants had family in nearby Mlawa, lending a more urban side to their life in a small place. The Girl Who Stole Everything starts from the premise of a return: the son of a man who was born in the village comes back to stay in a house that belonged to his family and was protected through the decades by a local villager. In his time in the village he confronts his own past and the contemporary scene, as a movie shoot is in the works outside his window. Published by Linda Leith Publishing in Montreal in fall, 2019, it was recently launched in Lodz. A museum exhibit based on it will take place at the Museum of Jewish Montreal in 2020.