About the Author



Welcome to the blog of Shirley Russak Wachtel, author, professor, and guest-lecturer. Among others, Dr. Wachtel has written a series of interactive mystery books for children, In the Mellow Light (a poetry collection), The Story of Blima — A Holocaust Survivor,  the memoir My Mother’s Shoes, and most recently, The Music Makers.

My Mother’s Shoes recounts the poignant story of the author’s mother, a Holocaust survivor, and the challenges she had to face in her homeland and later as a wife and mother living in the United States.  Simultaneously, the book weaves in the life of her daughter, Shirley (the book’s author), and the lessons she learns from her mother as she assumes her “shoes.”  This memoir will answer many of the questions readers of Wachtel’s earlier book, The Story of Blima—A Holocaust Survivor (Townsend Press), had as the story follows Blima’s life, written in fluid prose from the points of view of Blima, her American alter-ego, Betty, and daughter, Shirley.

Shirley Russak Wachtel’s latest book, The Music Makers, has just been published!  The novel is the story of five individuals living in upstate New York, including Virginia, a divorcee, her troubled artist daughter, Christine; Joshua, a widower, and his rebellious son, Adam; and David, a Holocaust survivor facing his last days frightened by memory loss as he clings to the tattered images of the past.  There is also the appearance of a young mysterious boy, who draws their lives together.

In three parts, this blog seeks to explore each story even further through primary sources, reflection, and dialogue.

To purchase My Mother’s Shoes or The Music Makers, please click here!


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