Helen Fremont

Helen Fremont homepage banner image

Helen Fremont is an award-winning author and essayist. She wrote the critically-acclaimed, national best-selling book, After Long Silence. Her latest book, The Escape Artist, was selected as an “Editor’s Choice” new book by The New York Times in 2020.

The Escape Artist

Selected by People Magazine as a Best New Book in 2020.

New York Times listed as Editor’s Choice in 2020.

Winner of the Audiophile Earphone Award.

Selected by BookPage as a “Reader’s Choice” best book of 2020.

The Escape Artist by Helen Fremont, book cover

A luminous family memoir from the author of the critically acclaimed national bestseller, After Long Silence, lauded as “mesmerizing” (The Washington Post Book World), “extraordinary” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), and “a triumphant work of art” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

In the tradition of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home or George Hodgman’s Bettyville, Fremont writes with wit and candor about growing up in a household held together by a powerful glue: secrets. Her parents, profoundly affected by their memories of the Holocaust, pass on to both Helen and her older sister a penchant for keeping their lives neatly, even obsessively compartmentalized, and a zealous determination to protect themselves from what they see as danger from the outside world.

Selected by BookPage as one of the “Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of 2020” (starred review)

Read the New York Times Book Review.

Read the Washington Post Book Review.

Winner of Audiofile Earphones Award.

Advanced Praise for The Escape Artist

“…Beautifully written, honest, and psychologically astute. A must read.”

— Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author of The Liars Club

“A riveting exploration of trauma and its aftermath.”


“The Escape Artist does what the best memoirs do by forcing readers out of their own comfy shoes and into those of another human being.  By the time Helen Fremont returned me to my own life at book’s end, I found it had been both shaken and expanded by hers.  Isn’t this why we read?”

—Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Chances Are… and Empire Falls

“A wrenching, riveting memoir… With hard-won clarity and compassion, Fremont shows herself to be a teller of complex truths and a literary artist.”

—Margo Jefferson, New York Times bestselling and NBCC Award-winning author of Negroland

“A humane, honest, eviscerating but entertaining exploration of intimate betrayal, the legacy of secrets, and the high cost of truth-telling… powerful and utterly engrossing.”

—George Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of Bettyville

“A stunner of a family memoir – a harrowing, sometimes mordantly funny account of the wages of secrecy bred of war and dislocation… a page-turner of uncommon valor.”

—Patricia Hampl, author of The Art of the Wasted Day and A Romantic Education

“Powerful … a shattering account of growing up in a family that has survived genocide.”

—Helen Epstein, author of Children of the Holocaust

Featured Book: After Long Silence

After a Long Silence Book Cover

“To this day, I don’t even know what my mother’s real name is.” Helen Fremont was raised as a Roman Catholic. It wasn’t until she was an adult, practicing law in Boston, that she discovered her parents were Jewish – Holocaust survivors living invented lives. Not even their names were their own. In this powerful memoir, Helen Fremont delves into the secrets that held her family in a bond of silence for more than four decades, recounting with heartbreaking clarity a remarkable tale of survival, as vivid as fiction but with the resonance of truth.

skyline image

News and Events

Arlington Author Salon

January 13, 2022

Arlington Author Salon: "Life, Art, and Family in History's Shadow" featuring authors Helen Fremont, Yelena Lembersky, and Weina Dai Randel 7:30 pm EDT

Arlington Author Salon: “Life, Art, and Family in History’s Shadow”
Featuring authors Helen Fremont, Yelena Lembersky, and Weina Dai Randel

Thursday, January 13, 2022
7:30 pm EDT

Register here for Zoom link.

> Read More

2001 Off The Shelf

Fall 2021

The Escape Artist is selected by Off The Shelf as one of "10 Page-Turning True Stories You Must Read To Believe"

The Escape Artist is selected by Off The Shelf as one of “10 Page-Turning True Stories You Must Read To Believe

Read the article here.

> Read More

October 13, 2021 Vilna Shul Zoom Event

October 13, 2021

"Unearthing Family Histories" - Vilna Shul Event with Judy Bolton-Fasman

“Unearthing Family Histories”
Join Helen and Author Judy Bolton-Fasman in conversation in a Zoom even sponsored by the Vilna Shul of Boston.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
7:00pm EST

Click here to register.

> Read More

Other Published Works by Helen Fremont: