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Poster for American Wolf with Audrey Birnbaum

American Wolf with Audrey Birnbaum

Coming on May 15

Run Time: 90 min.

American Wolf is the extraordinary, true story of author Audrey Birnbaum’s father, Jack Wolf Schwersenz, his family’s nail-biting escape from Germany, and his subsequent adventure-filled efforts to embrace his adopted home. Brimming with last-minute rescues and life-and death struggles that defy the impossible, this gripping narrative is not just a tale of survival, but a profound coming of age story, delving into the complexities of family dynamics and the search for national identity.

Growing up in New York in the late 1960’s, Audrey Birnbaum assumed that watching Holocaust documentaries was a perfectly normal family activity. We will never know whether it was schoolyard bullying or watching tragic Shoah documentaries that was responsible for Audrey’s acute sensitivity to others; but that empathy may have helped pave the way for her choice of medicine as a career. Shortly after her father’s death in 2018, Audrey stumbled upon his extensive notes detailing his childhood escape from Nazi Germany. Audrey felt compelled to start writing his riveting story – a story addressing themes that are pressingly relevant today.

While American Wolf deals with tragedy and loss, it punctuates the triumph of the human spirit. It is a memoir of Holocaust survival, a family drama, an immigration tale, and an often funny coming-of-age story that is sure to have an impact on anyone who has experienced prejudice, displacement, or questions about their identity.

American Wolf received the honor of finalist in the 73rd National Jewish Book Awards for 2023.

Audrey chose to specialize in Pediatric Gastroenterology – for who needed more help than children; and where could anyone feel more suffering than in one’s gut? Day in and day out, she watched intricate family dynamics play out in the context of fragile health. Audrey listened to each patient’s story until she could retell it with clarity and give it meaning. Through witnessing and recording these tender dramas, the seeds of writing had been planted. Audrey lives with her husband in Westchester County, New York, and has three marvelous grown children. She is currently working on her second book.

Moderated by Katie Sise.   Books will be available for sale and signing.

Katie Sise is a nationally bestselling author of seven novels: THE VACATION RENTAL, THE BREAK, OPEN HOUSE, WE WERE MOTHERS, THE BOYFRIEND APP, THE PRETTY APP, and THE ACADEMY. Her books have been included on best-of lists by Good Morning America, the New York Post, E! Online, PureWow, POPSUGAR and Parade magazine. Her recent novel, THE BREAK, is a Zibby’s Book Club pick. Katie is a former jewelry designer and television host, and she lives outside New York City with her husband, their four children, and a golden retriever who has finally calmed down. You can find her on social media @katiesise and on her website,

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