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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Preview

It’s been exactly two-years since I created my blog. My first entry “Traditional or Self Publishing” spoke to the dilemma writers, new or established, face in the cutthroat industry of book publishing. While many writers are reluctant to self-publish because they want to be recognized by a traditional publishing house, the trend of self-publishing is growing.

It took me two years of agony to finally decide to self publish my book No Laughter in Winter (formerly titled War Widow), both in English and in Hebrew, the latter in Israel, where the publishing industry is even more restrictive than in the U.S.

“Liberating,” is the word some authors with whom I have spoken termed their decision to self-publish.

When a friend, to whom I was lamenting about the difficulties publishing my book in the traditional route, asked me why is it so important for me to publish my work, to which I dedicated six or seven years of writing, rewriting and translating, I answered: “Because I have an important story to tell.”  I have known for years that I’ll tell that story. Most importantly, it is a story I believe in.

It is a story about a young girl born in Tel Aviv, Israel. My childhood years were marked by my mother’s severe recurrent depression. Like other children I blamed myself for my mother’s illness. Nothing original about that.

Like many more children around the world, I grew up in times of war.

Like other  women, I fell madly in love with a man too popular among the opposite sex and got married young in spite of doubting my decision. Again, nothing unusual.

Like other women I suffered two miscarriages: a girl, who was too small to survive after twenty-two week of pregnancy, and a boy who lived for thirty-six hours after twenty-six weeks of pregnancy. Years later technology would have him survive. I went through a corrective procedure, and was "as good as new," planning another pregnancy.

Becoming a young war widow is not extraordinary either. But, seeing your husband burnt beyond recognition and hearing his deafening last breaths, your body succumbing because of the shock, suffering a near death experience, being medically abused in the hospital where you stay while trying desperately to save your pregnancy, loosing your unborn child after your husband's death and blaming yourself for depriving your in-laws of the grandchild they wanted so badly, is not an ordinary tale.

Having been “discovered” as a young widow by men for your “beauty”, is a story many young widows can probably tell. Stories about relationships with famous married men have too been portrayed. Having fled from a smothering love affair to a far away land may also be considered commonplace. Having been raped by your fallen husband’s best friend may not.

That all these things happened to one young woman, who persevered in spite of the dark fears she endured before healing, became an activist, and successfully rebuilt her life, is unique.

That is why I wrote my book. Not to be pitied or admired. But to inspire men and women who faced life’s most difficult challenges. To give voice to the women who influenced my life, to the severely depressed and their families and to young widows who face double standards in the societies in which they live.

Today I live in New York City with my American husband;  I am a mother of a special daughter who is married to a devoted son in law, a grandmother of two who fill my life with joy, a lecturer at Queens College/CUNY and a recipient of Fulbright scholarship. Currently I am working on a woman's novel in between re-editing my memoir. 

I hope you care to read my book once it’s published, for I am committed to tell my story.

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1 comment:

  1. Ziva, I like your introduction. Your life experience taken in its totality is indeed worth telling and should be told, as you said, to inspire men and women. We may have not been born in Israel; we may not have been a widow at such a young age, and we may not have had miscarriages - too many in your case, but life is challenging and we need to know that courage, perseverance, and hope will ultimately get us through even the most difficult situations. You must tell your story.