My MacBook Air may be on its last leg so posting this series of blogs by Pulpwood Queen Book Club Author Peter Golden before it totally crashes. Peter was brought to my attention by Shelf Awareness Guru Robert Gray. I read his columns volraciously and he mentioned Peter and his first book. I read it and had found a NEW author to bring to our fold and now this is his third book that I have selected as an Official Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys read by Peter Golden! Thanks, Bob, you are a treasure as is Peter Golden. So here are his blogs so far and more to come.
Truly, Tiara Wearing and Peter Golden Sharing,
Kathy L. Murphy
The Pulpwood Queen
P.S. Now get ready for our annual Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys hosted book club convention that we call Girlfriend Weekend, January 17 – 19, 2019 at the retro The Fredonia Hotel & Convention Center in historic Nacogdoches, Texas. Get your annual membership at www.thepulpwoodqueens.com, (Click on Membership on the top menu bar) then you may purchase your package for the weekend, (Click Girlfriend Weekend on the top menu bar). THE PRICE GOES UP MAY 1ST, SO DO NOT DELAY! Seating limited and with our lineup of authors growing daily, this will be the biggest Girlfriend Weekend ever. So now read all about Peter Golden, he has quite a story.
As the publication date of Nothing Is Forgotten approaches (April 10), I’ve been considering what to post about the novel.
Some of the story would be the logical answer, but frankly, when I read a historical novel that takes in big events—in this case, the Holocaust and its connection to the Cold War—I often find myself wondering what led the author there—what was kicking around in his or her head. What were the seeds? Where did the garden come from?
So tomorrow I will start. At the beginning. With my grandfather.
My paternal grandparents, Mae and Nathan, who emigrated to America as children, told me stories from vanished empires—Mae from Austro-Hungary, Nathan from Russia.
Papa’s boyhood especially intrigued me because I was his age in his stories. His parents had split up in Russia, and his father had come to Newark, NJ, where he remarried and had another family. At twelve, Papa sailed for America alone and moved in with his father and went to work for a greengrocer. A year later, his father died. Papa didn’t move out of the house until he married, but even then he continued supporting the family.
As a child, whose life revolved around sports and double features on Saturday afternoons, I was overwhelmed imagining myself in his place. Yet Papa never mentioned the story that stayed with me. My father told me shortly before he died.
It was 1939. My father was fifteen. Nathan had built a successful wholesale seafood business in Newark, and he and my father were driving home from Manhattan after a buying trip to the Fulton Fish Market. My grandfather turned up a ramp of the West Side Highway and nearly hit a police car head-on. Both cars stopped, and the cop stormed over to the driver’s side window and shouted at my grandfather, asking him what the hell he was doing. Nathan began to explain, in a way that made no sense, why he had entered the highway on an exit ramp.
It was soon apparent to the policeman—and my father—that Nathan couldn’t read English. In a gentle voice, the cop told my grandfather to be careful and didn’t ticket him. Papa drove to Newark without saying another word. My father never mentioned the incident until he told me about it sixty years later.
Sometimes, while I’m sitting at my computer, I whisper, “Listen to me, Papa. You don’t have to read. I’ll tell you the story.”
More blogs to come but you can also read them on his official website, www.petergolden.com
And have to add this story from Facebook he posted today:
A Mother’s Tale
My mother died young, before I ever published a book. Her name was Evelyn, and she hid a generous fund of sadness and anger behind an exquisite, heart-shaped mask. As a child, I learned to listen by listening to her memories of losing the grandmother who raised her, and her father losing his business in the Depression, and her family losing their home and a little girl leaving her bedroom in the middle of the night.
These memories tormented my mother, a chronic illness that was not alleviated by her having her own family or her husband’s climb into the upper middle class.
And all of these memories came packaged with one other story that shaped her vision of the historical territory she occupied, defining her place in a world that, in her mind, never lost its dangerous edge.
She was eight years old and running through an empty schoolyard chased by two older boys. The boys had German names and they were calling her a kike. In the midst of her terror, my mother was stunned by the word. She had never advertised her religion, and with her blond-brown hair and cameo features, she resembled Shirley Temple. Yet somehow the boys knew, probably because she did not attend school on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur – the Jew holidays, a girl in her class had called them. Halfway across the schoolyard, the boys caught her and pushed her to the ground. One of them had his knees on her chest – he was laughing—and the other boy had unwound a wire hanger and jabbed the point toward her eye. My mother recalled the scene as drained of color and sound, as if she were watching another girl, a stranger, writhing and screaming in the black-and-white flicker of a silent movie, and suddenly the principal appeared, a burly man in a three-piece suit, and pulled the boys off her, dragging them both back to the school, and my mother stood up and ran home.
This was 1936. In Hillside, New Jersey.
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