April 6, 2022


Publication Date:  September 17, 2019

Print Length: 288 pages

National Book Critics Circle Award

Silver Medal Society of Illustrators

New York Times Best Book of the Year

Other Author Publications:

  • Kamikaze 2012
  • My Cold Went on Vacation 2011
  • On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century 2021
  • Red Riding Hood Redux 2009

Shadow Atlas 2012


Using a graphic novel format, Nora Krug explores her German father’s past and his involvement in World War II. Through photographs, drawings, and scrapbook remembrances, she traces her efforts to learn about her father’s early life in a small German town and comes to know the family he left behind. Recognizing the legacy of guilt experienced by Germany’s post-war generations, she also seeks to discover whether her family members, some of whom fought with Hitler’s army, participated in the Holocaust


Oltermann, Philip, “Nora Krug: ‘I Would Have Thought, What’s Left to Say about Germany’s Nazi Past?’” The Guardian, October 3, 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/oct/03/nora-krug-germany-nazi-past-heimat-memoir-author-illustrator

McAlpin, Heller, “’Belonging’ Explores the Notion of Homeland and Inherited Guilt.” NPR Book Reviews, October 6, 2018. https://www.npr.org/2018/10/06/654345956/belonging-explores-the-notion-of-homeland-and-inherited-guilt


  • What have been the strategies Germany has used to address the country’s legacy of wartime crimes? Can a country’s responsibility for crimes against humanity be forgotten and forgiven?

  • In what ways do the undiscussed secrets from a family’s history linger even when these past events are not openly discussed?

  • Krug asks how we can know who we are if we do not understand where we have come from? To what extent does our identity derive from our homeland and its history?

  • What are the benefits associated with preserving a family’s history for future generations?

One Comment

  1. https://israel-lady.co.il/ August 28, 2022 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Can I simply say what a relief to uncover someone who really understands what they are discussing on the internet. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people ought to look at this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe you arent more popular since you certainly have the gift.

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Every month I offer a Book Club suggestion that highlights authors who write about their family history and explore themes of identity.
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