My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Annie Ernaux and Karin Wells

These days, bringing plants in at night, the ones I can carry, and taking them back out by day. Spent hours the other day pruning and planting bulbs. Shutting it all down, anticipating joy six months from now. 

My father’s cousin Caryl has just died, in her late nineties. She was, as far as I know, the last grandchild alive of Jacob Gordin, my famous great-grandfather. Her twin brother George, who was helpful with my research on Gordin though relentlessly negative about him, died a few years ago. On her deathbed, her daughter Peggy wrote me, Caryl said, I’m going to George.

She lived in Virginia so I only met her once. But recently her daughters sent me exquisite family miniatures. A bond, over the miles and the years.

Speaking of Gordin, was thrilled to receive this note from Ron Singer, a director who gave me an acting award in 1969, is still a good friend and was reading Finding the Jewish Shakespeare: I LOVE your book!!!

I’m biased, yes, and thus found your book of particular interest, because I speak Yiddish fluently and grew up with a copy of the Forward, daily, in our house. And, I remember regularly hearing my family referencing Yiddish plays. Thank you, Beth, for reminding me of things past, many of which I had sadly forgotten. 

Thank you, Ron, for reading with attention and care and letting me know the good news.

Good news from Sweden – as I’m sure you’ve heard, Annie Ernaux, a woman who writes intensely personal memoir has won the Nobel. And then the peace prize to human rights activists from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Take that, Putin! Take that, fiction!

Only kidding. I love fiction, only I love non-fiction more. Much, much more. Have just ordered Ernaux’s The Years from the library – 225 holds already. I bet there were only a few yesterday – if any. 

Went across to Anna’s yesterday – Eli was sick. Anna had to go to work; someone had killed a moose and donated it to her Indigenous group, so they brought in a butcher handy with such work and spent the day dealing with a great deal of moose. I was briefly with my grandson, who was perfectly happy without me, lying in bed with his iPad playing video games. Not interested in the stories I brought. The screens are taking over. It scares me. 

But Anna’s cats the grey brothers Sam and Dean are very cute. I have five grandsons; 3 of them are hairy, with tails. 

I was supposed to go to my friend Karin Well’s book launch: More than a Footnote, Canadian women you should know, telling the stories of some of our amazing countrywomen. Didn’t get there, unfortunately. But I’ve heard that at the end she dedicates the book to two young women doing important work in Canada now – and one of them is my daughter Anna. I will be buying this book, you may be sure.

Weeks fly by and my own work does not progress. I have been delving more into the Dad box but not writing. Much editing of other writers’ big projects, taping another episode of my podcast – a new one going up any minute, check it out on this site – plus winterizing, house guests, and – now it’s October. How did that happen? 

Thanksgiving on Monday – family, extended family, turkey. Once more, thanks to the gods that the homicidal maniacs have not wiped us out yet.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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