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Ruth Rotkowitz

Author   l   Speaker   l   Award Winning Writer   l   Teacher  l   Advocate

Ruth, a daughter of Holocaust survivors, has become an expert on inherited trauma. She is a member of the Phoenix Holocaust Association, an organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Shoah. Ruth gives talks throughout the Phoenix area on Holocaust-related books and programs. Ruth's understanding of the Holocaust, the impact on survivors and their descendants, is addressed in much of her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, which has been published in literary journals and anthologies.


Ruth Rotkowitiz, who holds a B.A. and M.A. in English, is a multi-talented and award-winning author, speaker, teacher, and advisor. Her exploration of the issues facing the second generation (children of survivors) clearly connects to the current recognition of post-traumatic-stress-disorder. Ruth’s writing covers a range of topics relating to trauma, women, mental health, and teenage issues. 

In her recently launched novel Escaping the Whale, Ruth introduces the reader to Marcia, a 28-year old New York guidance counselor who is attempting to appear normal to the world while concealing the inner demons that plague her. Her legacy of inherited trauma fills every aspect of her life, and as she tries to keep it together, she is suffering in silence. Can she muster the courage to do what is necessary to banish her demons?

In addition to Escaping the Whale, Ruth has written – and continues to write – stories, articles, and poems that revolve around the universal striving to overcome the fears that prevent us from truly living.

“Like the sea itself, the unconscious yields an endless and self-replenishing abundance of living creatures, a wealth beyond our fathoming.”
~ Carl Jung

Kind words

Michael Zam,

Author and Co-Creator of

Feud: Bette and Joan

It's hard to believe this riveting new novel about a young woman's struggle with her own inner demons is the author's debut. That's how well Ruth Rotkowitz has created a protagonist whose desperate quest to "escape the whale" is often as dangerous and compelling as Ahab's quest to find it.

Sheryl Bronkesh,


Phoenix Holocaust Association

Rotkowitz deftly addresses the theme of inherited trauma, artfully telling the moving story of a young woman who takes on the burden of her parents' Holocaust nightmares. While her parents survived the Holocaust and established a new life with their three American-born children, their middle child is haunted by the tragic experiences they had faced before her birth. This fast-paced book examines topics of family, love, and self-preservation. A remarkable first novel.

Maxine Cooper,


Readers looking for a novel with psychological insight will enjoy Escaping the Whale by Ruth Rotkowitz. We never know what goes on under the veneer people present to the world. In the novel, protagonist Marcia Gold deals with anxiety and delusions while presenting a 'normal' face to the world. Forced to deal with a series of crises, Marcia struggles to fight her demons while keeping up an outside appearance of competence. All this takes place amidst the shadow cast by Marcia's parents' Holocaust experience and the Iranian hostage crisis permeating the news. A good read!

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