monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

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Preparing for a Talk about Writing -- and Researching

I got through that pile of correcting  I was moaning about earlier this week. Mercifully, many of the essays were excellent. I didn't tell you, but the assignment was to analyze a joke using the Freudian model we have been studying in class. The class, in case you're wondering what kind of class studies jokes, is called "The Stuff of Nonsense."
Today, to celebrate my freedom from correcting, I went out for lunch with my friend Gordana. But don't think I've been lazing around all day!! I've been preparing for a lecture I am doing this Sunday at the Eleanor London Library in Cote St. Luc, the part of Montreal where I grew up. My lecture is called, "My Mother's Untold Story." I will be discussing how I went about researching and then writing my manuscript "Lotje's Story." That story is based on my mother's experience in the Theresienstadt concentration camp when she was aged 14 to 16. Until last winter, my mother never really discussed what had happened to her in the camp. But I managed to get her to tell me the story she had kept to herself for more than 60 years. As you may know, if you've been reading more of my blog entries, I am a firm believer in the power of telling stories. I think telling her story was good for my mum. It was certainly important for me to hear it -- and hopefully, when people read the novel I have written that is based on my mother's experience, they will benefit, too. 
My mother is 78 years old. Of course, I hope she and my dad will be with us for many more years, but the truth is there are fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors around to share their stories. That's why I think it's important for the rest of us to listen to those stories so that we can keep the past alive -- and learn from it. 

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Tuesday, 05 March 2024

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