Thank You, CVCC!

BlimaiconA big thank you to the students and faculty at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC for hosting me for a presentation and discussion of my novel, My Mother’s Shoes.  I met and signed copies for approximately 500 students who expressed a fascination with my mother’s story and the lessons of the Holocaust.  I was particularly impressed with the various arts and crafts projects created by the students, and the college’s Holocaust Center, with its abundance of books and memorabilia.  Of particular note were two students who spent a night in a boxcar to deepen their understanding of this tragic period. Next week, the Kontras Quartet, sponsored by the West Piedmont Symphony will feature My Mother’s Shoes as the theme for its spring performance.  For this, I am deeply honored.  DSC09737



From the meals which featured potatoes, the first food many survivors had upon liberation, and the poppy seed cakes (“moon”), beloved by my mother, to sharing of family stories and the lessons of history, I am grateful.  I particularly wish to extend my gratitude to Arlene Neal, Ari Sigal, and Annis Shields, for inviting me to Hickory and showing me such warmth.  Finally, I want to express my pleasure at meeting survivor Manfred Katz, who is the true hero.



About shirleywachtel

Shirley Russak Wachtel is the author of The Story of Blima—A Holocaust Survivor (publ.2005), a novel which recounts the early years of her mother, Betty Weisstuch Russak. The novel s listed as a recommended novel by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. Wachtel is the author of several children's books, including a series of interactive mysteries, Charlie Wonder, Chef-Detective (2005), which includes several recipes; Brad Sureshot, Coach-Detective (2007) which details basketball skills; and Howie Rocket, World-Traveler-Detective (2009) which has handy foreign language phrases. In The Mellow Light (2009) is her first book of poetry. She is a professor of English at Middlesex County College in New Jersey. In addition, Wachtel is the co-author of Spotlight on Reading (2011), a textbook for college-level students. A mother of three sons, she resides with her husband, Arthur, in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Initially written as a doctoral dissertation for her Doctor of Letters Degree from Drew University, My Mother's Shoes , says Wachtel, is not just the novel of her life, it is the novel of her heart.
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