Thursday, November 28, 2013

Quest for the Near Past

It's been a while since I posted. For the past several months I've been concentrating on finishing and publishing my latest novel, The Journeys of Brothers.  

I've been interested in genealogy for over forty years, and if you count my conversations with my father's parents, his brother and his wife, my interest in the past goes back to childhood. They knew their parent's and grandparent's names. Children were named after these ancestors in a nearly specific order, always for someone who had passed on. 

The frustration one encounters in searching for ancestors is that there is little to no documentation for those who lived in Central and Eastern Europe before 1830. To sidestep this irritation, I have become more interested in how my ancestors lived rather than their name, date and place of birth. For lifestyle, there is abundant documentation.

In writing the novel I used the oral history that was shared by my father's mother and my father's sister in law. My mother also had bits and pieces that confirmed some of  what had been told to me. Women seem to know about family background more than men. What was surprising to me was to learn that my grandfather was supposed to go to Argentina with his brother, Ephraim, and not to Canada where he lived most of the rest of his life. Why did this happen? No one would say, but at any rate it provided a seed for one of several turning points in the novel.

Because their is so much rich material in developing the story that could not be included in the book, I decided to 'branch off' and create a blog devoted entirely to an elaboration of the story, an odyssey of two brothers. Please continue to follow me on