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• Inspiration for your writing, creativity and life
• Feature interview with author Lev Raphael
There are days when Facebook makes me crazy and days when I'm grateful for the magic that not only connects people across the miles but reconnects them across time.
I first met Lev Raphael what seems like many lifetimes ago. I was still in my 20s and he and his partner turned up one evening at the Montreal gay Jewish group I was part of. I don't remember whether he was promoting his then-new and later award-winning short-story collection Dancing on Tisha B'Av. I do remember reading it after meeting him and being deeply touched by it.
At the same time, I didn't give Lev much thought in the ensuing decades (sorry, Lev)...until one day his name and face jumped out at me from my computer screen and I was suddenly back in that Montreal apartment on that long-ago Friday night.
I immediately sent him a note and we became online friends. He followed up a time later with news about his brilliant essay on the writing life, which became a guest post on this blog back in March and which I reprinted and reposted earlier today. After that, his appearance on The Muse & You was inevitable!
The son of Holocaust survivors, Lev Raphael is a pioneer in writing fiction about America's Second Generation, publishing his first short story about children of survivors in 1978. Many of his early stories on this theme appeared in Dancing on Tisha B'Av. Lev is the author of 18 other books, including novels about survivors, a series of mysteries and his latest, a powerful memoir, My Germany: A Jewish Writer Returns to the World His Parents Escaped .
Of My Germany, Library Journal wrote, "True to his other works, his book is powerful and captivating to the end, painting vivid pictures of his parents’ suffering, his hatred of Germany, and eventually his healing and reconciliation."
Author as well of hundreds of reviews, stories and articles, Lev has seen his work discussed in journals, books, conference papers, and assigned in college and university classrooms. Which means, as he puts it, "I've become homework. Who knew?"
He escaped academia in 1988 to write full-time and, as he says, has never looked back.
I could go on and on about Lev's varied accomplishments (and mention his radio interview show and his hundreds of talks, readings and interviews on three continents). But why do it here when you can hear him yourself, live on the radio! On this next episode of The Muse & You with Mark David Gerson, Lev talks about his journey to Germany, his alter ego as a mystery writer and his thoughts on the writing life. Please tune in!
The Muse & You and MuseTV with Mark David Gerson, are all about writing, creativity and life -- an opportunity to listen to writers and creators of all sorts talk about how and why they create and, of course, about what they create.
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