I’ll be reading my essay, “The Teardrop,” from the anthology, For Keeps, just out in paperback from Seal Press. Caroline Leavitt, terrific fiction teacher at UCLA, will be reading there, too.

December 8, 7 PM, Bluestockings, Manhattan

Bluestockings is located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan at 172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington - which means that we are 1 block south of Houston and 1st Avenue.

By train: We are 1 block south of the F train's 2nd Avenue stop and just 5 blocks from the JMZ-line's Essex / Delancey Street stop.

By car: If you take the Houston exit off of the FDR, then turn left onto Essex (aka Avenue A), then right on Rivington, and finally right on Allen, you will be very, very close.

|

GOONY BIRDS

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments

(My cousin, Irwin Yatter, snapped this unposed picture of me last year at Jones Beach. Irwin not only always has a heavy camera with him, he also brings his petite wife, Marsha, who becomes a smiling tripod when he balances his camera on her head.)
<><>

<>In the shade of my rain or shine umbrella (I oversunned growing up in Rockaway Beach) you see me reading a sign that warns not to disturb the nesting area of the piping plover by kite flying or tromping through the tall beach grass.
<>

<>As a child, I called the plovers "Goony Birds." I ran, giggling, along with them at the shoreline to and from the tide. Their wiry orange legs reminded me of the little toy chicks sold at Easter.<>

<>When I grew up, my heart ached because I rarely saw a plover. I'd listen for their plaintive, bell-like cries and only hear the shrieking of the gulls. Gone! I thought. Another species gone!<>

<>But now, thanks to ecologists, the Goony Birds will be back to skitter along the shore, leaving their tiny footprints in the dark, wet sand.

WHO WERE YOU?

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments

Mention reincarnation to someone and you may see his eyes roll and hear him begin to speak slower and use simpler words as if your IQ has just dropped ten points in his estimation. But don’t be daunted. Now you can be armed with the internationally bestselling author, M.J. Rose’s literate thriller, The Reincarnationalist. that not only makes past lives feel as real as the one you’re living now, but also gives you supportive quotes from respected believers such as Cicero, Thoreau, Emerson, Hugo, and Kipling. In this sure, erudite, page-turner, Rose will have you believing too.

A bomb explodes in Rome and Josh Ryder, a photographer, gets a head injury that brings him so far back into the past that it is 391 A.D. There is the pagan priest, Julius, desperately trying to save Sabina, a Vestal Virgin, from being suffocated, her punishment for breaching her vow of chastity. Sabina has already had a daughter with Julius by the time she’s shut up in her crypt. And bound in her garment is the Memory Stones she has sworn to protect, the keys to revealing past lives.

And who is responsible for the cruelty meted out to these lovers as well as the destruction of the pagan temples? Of course, the Catholic Church. This time the church is trying to suppress the belief in wicca, pagan religions, and reincarnation because each chips away at the church’s authority. But the church harbors dark secrets of its own, as well.

Don’t be fooled. While the book might sound vaguely Da Vinci Code-ish, that’s where the similarity ends. Artfully researched, The Reincarnationist spreads its wings to encompass Roman history right down to knowing that the jugs in an errant goddess’ crypt were filled with water and milk so that she would die of lack of air, not starvation. Rose educates us with brilliant passages about art auctions and theft, and she knows how to tell a real Caravaggio from a fake.
But at its shimmering heart, The Reincarnationist is a mesmerizing love story.

Smart and sexy, this introduces a panoply of characters from antiquity to today, and each of the myriad players is so well-drawn that you don’t have to use a cheat sheet to remember who is who. Rose tightens the tension, merging past and present lives into a tapestry of exquisite mystery, karmic debt, and a passionate love story worthy of Romeo and Juliet.

But Rose’s mission isn’t just to tell a riveting, heart-stopping story. Slowly, and believably, she creates a case for reincarnation. The fictional Phoenix Institute that helps children recover from traumas by hypnotically regressing them to reveal traumas in their past lives is based on the actual work of Dr. Ian Stevenson who did past-life regressions on 2,5OO children. At the end of the novel, Rose includes books to delve further into the topic.

The job of any novelist is to create a waking dream, a world so real you don’t even doubt the doorknobs in it. Fiercely intelligent and passionately written, The Reincarnationist might just have you humming that old hit song by The Monkeys, I’m a believer.

Visit Rose’s website at Reincarnationist.org for more information.

|

Psychic Stalker

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
I've got to hurry. I'm doing a psychic phone reading in a half-hour. Often I have a clairvoyant flash or a dream that tells me what the client wants to know. But this woman calls twice a month and always asks the same things.

"What's Phil doing right now?"

"Who is he with?"

Phil is the guy who broke up with her three years ago. If I don't answer her questions, I know what she'll do. Just what she's done before. She'll pull up her coat collar, put on dark glasses, hide her bright red hair with a scarf, and follow him to work and back. When he gets home from work, she'll be lurking down the block, ducking behind a car when he looks her way. But I have a lot of hope for her. I think by May, 2008, she'll be calling to ask whether she should send out resumes to get a new job and she'll ask about a new guy she's dating, one who won't break her heart.

|

I have to tell you this!

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
<>Sixty-nine years ago in Frankfurt, my husband’s grandparents pleaded with Bernard, their youngest and dearest son, to flee to England with them. It was right after Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass” when thousands of Jewish homes and Jewish shops were ransacked throughout Germany. Jews were beaten to death and 30,000 were rounded up and taken to Concnetration Camps.

<>But Bernard, at 16, refused to go. Instead, he joined the Resistance and went to Holland where he couldn’t even know the language. After managing to do all he could to thrwart the Nazis over the next year, he was captured and sent to Auschwitz.

<>With communications being what they were back then, everyone in the family thought that Bernard was dead. And then, a year after the war was over, someone found Bernard in a hospital in Amsterdam. He was bedridden and in a full body cast. Besides broken bones he’d gotten from hard labor and beatings, he had been used as a guinea pig for medical experiments. Dr. Mengeles’had injected Bernard with parasites and removed his kidney without anesthesia. But in the hospital in Amsterdam, Bernard had figured out a system of mirrors placed exactly so that he could read a book that he could not yet hold. This enabled him to study engineering and fulfill his new dream of imigrating to Israel.

<>When an article was published about me in a Belgian Magazine, on an outside chance, I asked Bernard if he could translate it from Dutch to English. He’s eighty-six now. But with the aid of a dictionary and the pigeon Dutch, a street language that he’d learned in the year he’d spent with in the Resistance in Amsterdam when he was a teenager, he did a farily readable translation, unfazed by such words as “sublunary.”

|