monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

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Shame on Me!

Well, it's not such a shame... but I say so because I'm getting such a late start today. It's 10:24 A.M., and I haven't gone for my run and I haven't tidied up the house... all of which is part of my  pre-writing routine. My goodness, I haven't even made a cup of green tea yet! Funny that I got some interesting comments about tea from readers yesterday. I guess I'm part of a tea-drinking tradition!

Today, I want to tell you about an interesting phone conversation I had yesterday. The Gazette books editor sent me an email saying the author of a book I'd reviewed over the weekend had called from Baltimore, wanting to speak with me. The author's name is Richard Hollander and his book is called Every Day Lasts a Year: A Jewish Family's Correspondence from Poland. In the book, Hollander publishes letters written by members of his father's family who lived in Cracow, Poland, during the Holocaust. All of them died. One of the amazing things about this story is that Hollander's dad -- who escaped Poland in time and settled in the United States -- never told his son about his family in Poland. It was only after Hollander's parents died that Hollander found the letters and uncovered his dad's "secret." Anyway, the books editor gave me Hollander's number and we had a super interesting conversation. We talked about Holocaust research and even about what being Jewish means to us. Hopefully, Hollander will come to Montreal to promote his book -- and then we'll get to meet in person. And if he comes for supper, you can be sure I'll tell you all about it in this blog!

So you see, that's one of the best things about writing -- the surprising connections you make with other people. As you may remember, I've got a Holocaust book coming out in fall 2008 -- mine is a novel based on my mum's childhood experience in a Nazi concentration camp. So, in some ways, Hollander and I have been involved in similar work. Talking to him made me feel encouraged -- some people think it's best to forget the Holocaust ever happened (and of course, there are the Holocaust deniers who say the whole thing is a hoax), but I'm a firm believer in the importance of remembering what happened. Perhaps it's a way of preventing more horror in our world. 

I'm going to give you the link to my review of Hollander's book  that appeared in The Gazette on Saturday. Here it comes:   http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/books/story.html?id=48dfb668-0e56-40aa-a7c6-2805df64e642

Okay, off I go to get serious -- which means I'm heading out for a run, then I'll come home and tidy up, and then I'll WRITE! Have a great weekend wherever you are, whatever you're up to. If the snow is sticky enough to make a snowman, I'm going to make one this weekend! 

Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning to You...
Green Tea and Me
 

Comments

Guest - Sophie B. X. on Saturday, 05 January 2008 22:29

Breaking out of routine once in a while isn't a bad situation- we'll work harder because we messed up our routine, as a way of regaining the time that we've lost and you're more serious as well. Besides, humans are not perfect creatures.

Breaking out of routine once in a while isn't a bad situation- we'll work harder because we messed up our routine, as a way of regaining the time that we've lost and you're more serious as well. Besides, humans are not perfect creatures. :)
Guest - Kim on Sunday, 06 January 2008 04:21

Well, talking about lost time, I just got back from my 32-1/2-hour trip to Toronto! As much as taking the train saved time, I must say that being seated for 5 hours and half in a row wasn't pleasant... I needed a serious stretch by the time I got off.
Back on topic, hopefully you got everything done on Thursday before I took my train at 3:40 P.M. and you enjoyed your time off. Like Sophie said, it's not necessarily a bad idea to break out of a routine every now and then! Then again, I'm annoyed I didn't have time for my Journal entry this morning (too busy rushing off to the Robotics Kickoff)... I'll make sure to write first thing tomorrow morning!

Well, talking about lost time, I just got back from my 32-1/2-hour trip to Toronto! As much as taking the train saved time, I must say that being seated for 5 hours and half in a row wasn't pleasant... I needed a serious stretch by the time I got off. Back on topic, hopefully you got everything done on Thursday before I took my train at 3:40 P.M. ;) and you enjoyed your time off. Like Sophie said, it's not necessarily a bad idea to break out of a routine every now and then! Then again, I'm annoyed I didn't have time for my Journal entry this morning (too busy rushing off to the Robotics Kickoff)... I'll make sure to write first thing tomorrow morning! :D
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