Hi there. Judy, here. Author of Our Names Do Not Appear. Fighting a cold in Tel Aviv and winning! That’s because I’m siding with my immune system and taking massive doses of pills that contain mushrooms, aged garlic and astragalus, in addition to going regularly to my acupuncture guru who has balanced my life. Now, though I know the Evil Eye is watching, I will declare that for the first time in recent history, a slight cold is not developing into something worse, but remains a slight cold. This, for me, is a victory and because this victory is accompanied by a burst of energy, I am going to write another short blog post about my astonishing and emotionally wrenching memoir, Our Names Do Not Appear.
In the last short blog post I wrote that I have been writing this book for thirty-four years. After reading about Helen Epstein’s new book, The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma, in Tablet Magazine, I realized that, thank G-d, I have not been writing the same book for thirty-four years. Rather, like Epstein, and unbeknownst to me at the time, I have written a trilogy. The first book in the trilogy was called Primary Sources. It is an exuberant book about a crazy Israeli psychologist delivering a talk in Cleveland, Ohio about a rare case of mixed identities. Readers have been riveted in their seats while reading this first book in what I have now come to call “the Joey trilogy.” Unfortunately, I was too busy to publish it and preferred to keep working and writing.
The second book was Diving Into Mount Zion, a braided-style tear-jerker, part travelogue from early pilgrims in the Holy Land and part pilgrimage to the inner interstices of my soul. A knockout of a book that exhausted me such that I had no strength left for the publishing game.
This third and final book, Our Names Do Not Appear, is the original story I wanted to tell back in 1985, but lacked both craft and maturity to do so. It is highly focused and multi-generic in the best sense of that word.
So thank-you, Helen Epstein, for helping me realize I have written a trilogy. I just ordered The Long Half-Lives and look forward to reading it.
Hopefully, I will hear from “my”publisher by the end of January 2019. If it’s a go, I will force myself to stick to the self-aggrandizing short blog format. If it is not a go, I will be happy to tell you about my music theory lessons, piano lessons, dancing lessons, song writing and other creative endeavors I have discovered in miraculous Tel Aviv.
These endeavors do not demand new words. In a prescient and perspicacious move, I am preparing myself for when the brain plaques that have already formed in my brain start multiplying and my vocabulary shrinks to nothing, when I will revert to using the word “territory,” as my late mother did, for every time I refer to any place.
Until then, don’t forget: Judy Labensohn, author of Our Names Do Not Appear. Not yet on sale anywhere. Including Tel Aviv.