BOOKS, ART, TRAVEL AND MORE
How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags, and Soviet Communism
By Annette Libeskind Berkovits, with a Foreword by Daniel Libeskind
Annette Libeskind Berkovits tells her father’s life story in this engaging memoir, reimagining the critical events of the twentieth century while exploring ideas of collective memory and the construction of family sagas.
Berkovits, Libeskind’s daughter and the author of this cinematically gripping debut biography, does a masterful job weaving together a coherent narrative, culled largely from tape recordings that her father left behind. She has a rare gift for storytelling…. Overall, the prose is lively and direct, and the story is deeply affecting…a moving tale that’s emotionally powerful and historically edifying.
The Unlikeliest of Places is an incandescent biographical tribute to the author’s father, Nachman Libeskind, an eternally hopeful survivor. Berkovits relates her father’s story in elegant and shifting prose. Sections devoted to Nachman’s backstory read like a novel, but between them come peeks at the author’s life with her father. Her travels with Nachman, and her struggles to understand his quirks, are all imparted with affection. This dance between a father’s story and a daughter’s quest for insights and understanding is moving and lovely…. The book addresses the complications of maintaining one’s Judaism after the Holocaust with skill. Berkovits traces such challenges through her generation and the next, and this journey—a story within the story—warrants attention and reflection. … Those not already familiar with the Libeskinds by virtue of Nachman’s artistic catalog or because of the work of his son, Daniel, the famed architect, will find much here to celebrate. Though this is, inescapably, a Holocaust survivor’s biography, it is not dominated by those horrors; rather, it celebrates the ingenuity with which one man made his time less about enduring than about living vibrantly.
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New and Selected Poems, 1980-2015
By Chana Bloch
Chana Bloch has spent her life writing the poems of a grown woman, loving the world as she interrogates it mercilessly, speaking a truth that hurts as it heals. “Half the stories / I used to believe are false,” she confesses. “Thank God / I’ve got the good sense at last / not to come in out of the rain.” A thrilling collection.
Chana Bloch is an absolutely essential poet, with a breathtaking gift for spanning, linking and leaping—unforgettable images, wonderments, and wisdom. Her words travel with me at the center of my compass. This collection is a triumph, not to be missed.
Swimming in the Rain includes poems from The Secrets of the Tribe, The Past Keeps Changing, Mrs. Dumpty, and Blood Honey, as well as new work. Bloch is co-translator of the biblical Song of Songs and Israeli poets Yehuda Amichai and Dahlia Ravikovitch. Professor Emerita of English at Mills College, where she directed the Creative Writing Program, she served as the first Poetry Editor of PersimmonTree.org.
WOW: Wonderful Old Women
Conducted & Edited by Bonnie Lyons and Deb Field
Photographs by Linda Harris
Why interview women over 80 years old? Consider this common insult: “You drive like a little old lady.” This cliché suggests all old women are alike and all are negligible and negative – limited, timid, hesitant, implicitly uninteresting and unimportant. Ageism and sexism in three words!
These interviews will introduce you to thirteen women – age 80 to 97 – who disprove the cliché. All of them have lived intensely and continue to have interesting, evolving lives. These marvelous old women come from a wide variety of backgrounds. They are Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and unaffiliated; they are white, black, Mexican-American, Puerto Rican-American, and Iraqi-American. Economically, they range from modest to wealthy. Each woman relates her own story in her own way and tells how she sees herself and her life journey. These are personal interviews, but historical events, such as World War II and the Holocaust, as well as social problems, including racism and sexism, are often crucial parts of their lives and stories. How each woman experienced and responded to limitations and difficulties is central to her character and story. We hope that after reading these interviews, readers will have less dread of aging, a greater sense of continuing possible growth in their own lives and awareness, and a vision of becoming wise old women – or men – themselves.
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By Nan Fink Gefen
Winner of 2013 IndieFab Gold Award for General Fiction
Rebecca Lev is a Chicago psychotherapist with a failing marriage and two troubled kids. When her father dies under questionable circumstances, she feels guilty for not better protecting him. She sets out to investigate . . . but she must first sort out her life and confront her own demons before she can discover the shocking truth of his death.
Clear Lake is the story of a woman in midlife as she wrestles with long-term grief, guilt, betrayal, and confusion on the way to finding peace within herself. Highly readable and inspiring.
Written with insight and compassion, Clear Lake introduces us to a likable heroine struggling with conflicting obligations and guilt. We follow her story willingly because we, too, have had the experience of failing those we love and making the wrong choices at critical junctures. The prose is lucid and clear, like the lake of the title.
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To learn more about Nan Fink Gefen, CLICK HERE.
Contemporary Artistic Women’s Tops
Inspired by the fine arts, literature, history, architecture, and nature.
Enjoy a 20% OFF Discount for Persimmon Tree readers.
Please use Promo Code PERSIMMON during checkout.
How Old Am I in Dog Years?
And other thoughts about life from the far side of the hill
By Susan Goldfein
How Old Am I In Dog Years? is a joyous, snark-filled and completely relatable collection of essays that skewer the foibles of ordinary events.
With topics ranging from marital “bliss” to wearing stiletto heels at an age when one should know better, Susan Goldfein blends just the right amount of the absurd into her daily life to keep her readers laughing — and thinking. After all, where else can you find reality TV with a senior slant, or organic food shopping with a side of wry?
This sparkling collection will appeal to mothers and daughters alike, as well as the fathers and sons trying to figure out what the other side really thinks.
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The Life of Stephen Collins Foster
By Ellen Hunter Ulken
While East Coast composers of the mid-1800s continued to imitate the music of their European forebears, Pittsburgh native Stephen Foster infused his compositions with the rich and diverse flavors of river life. By mixing this “western” essence with the style of traditional English folk songs, he created an original American sound.
“Oh! Susannah,” his first hit, became the banner song of forty-niners during the California gold rush. “Old Kentucky Home,” “Old Folks at Home,” “Camptown Races” and “Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair” are still sung a century and a half later. But despite the popularity of his music, the pioneer of American songwriting died in poverty. Beautiful Dreamer is his story.
As a child in northern Florida, Ellen Ulken used to swim in the Suwannee River, made famous by the song “Old Folks at Home.” Later, in her travels – first growing up on far-flung Army posts and then as a flight attendant – she found the music of Stephen Foster a comforting reminder of her rural Southern roots. Beautiful Dreamer is her tribute to Foster, whose songs explore the range of human emotion – from the melancholy of “Gentle Annie” to the merriment of “Ring, Ring the Banjo!”
Ellen lives in Peachtree City, Georgia with her companion Jerry Watts and his English setter, Scout.
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