Thursday, June 19, 2008

Author chat - The Bone Weaver by Victoria Zackheim

On Tuesday, I briefly mentioned that I had read The Bone Weaver by Victoria Zackheim years ago. But that I didn't really remember it - my book memory being so stellar! LOL

I was so excited later in the day to see an email from Victoria! She sent me a description of Bone Weaver and also answered a few questions that I am going to share here. After reading the description, I do remember the book and that I liked it. But that's as much of a "review" I'm going to be able to give, based on my lovely book memory.

Here's the description of The Bone Weaver:
Following the death of her lifelong friend, professor Mimi Zilber sets off on a journey to discover how she came to this lonely place in her life, and why she runs from the opportunity to love. The Bone Weaver is a blend of history and fiction created around three generations of women and their struggles to survive pogroms, illness and the violence of shtetl life in nineteenth-century eastern Europe. Taking apart the family tapestry thread by thread, studying these women and their daily lives of uncertainty, tragedy and joy, Mimi learns important lessons about courage and the will to survive. In her discovery of what makes these women remarkable, she also discovers herself.

Michele: What was your inspiration for writing The Bone Weaver?
Victoria: I was grappling with my own issues of isolation, having gone through a divorce, been a single mother, and then finding myself living abroad (in a country where I knew no one and didn't speak the language). Of course, I didn't realize at the time that anything about this novel related to me, so I gave the main character, Mimi, all my angst, and her grandmother, Fredl, all the courage I wanted to possess. As for Mimi's mother, Rivka...well, she's a composite of all the quietly loving, yet not-so-quietly neurotic people I've ever known. I loved her character and wept several times as I was writing her story.

Michele: Who is your favorite author?
Victoria: That's a tough one...asking a writer this question is like asking a mother to choose her favored child. Whose work do I read the week the book's published? Lynn Freed, Caroline Leavitt, Leon Whiteson (I loved his Garden Story), Jane Smiley. I've read Marie Chaix's biography about her father twice...The Laurels of Lake Constance...and loved it both times.

Michele: Do you have other fiction works in progress?
Victoria: Yes, I'm working on a Paris-based novel, but it's been difficult to find the time to write.

Michele: What else have you been working on?
Victoria: I've had two books published in the past year:
- The Other Woman: 21 Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal (anthology, including personal essays of Jane Smiley, Lynn Freed, Connie May Fowler, Caroline Leavitt, Susan Cheever, and 16 other exceptional authors)
- For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older, and Acceptance (also anthology of 27 funny, moving, important personal essays)
I'm also writing a documentary on Frances Kelsey, the FDA scientist who blocked the distribution of thalidomide in the U.S. in the early 60s.

Thanks Victoria!


Lisa Clarke said...

How fun that she emailed you! I love how small the internet makes the world sometimes.

I've had email encounters with artists & authors that I would have considered too "famous" to bother with me pre-internet, and it's always such a thrill.

Ghost said...

Hi there Michele, hope you're having a good night. =)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic interview! :)

Michele said...

It is fun, Lisa. I'm all hyped to 'talk' to other folks now too! LOL

Hi Ghost!

Thanks J.Kaye!