As a six-year-old, a young girl named Ilse watched Nazi soldiers march down her street in Vienna, Austria. It was the beginning of an odyssey that would take her to Riga, Latvia, and end in Portland, Oregon. Becoming Alice chronicles Rene’s Jewish family's harrowing escape and their struggle as immigrants to fit into the American landscape. The added problems of growing up within a troubled family clouded her childhood and adolescence. Hoping to fit in with her classmates, Ilse changed her name to Alice, but it was not until she moved into a boarding house in Berkeley, surrounded by girls from a patchwork of cultures, that she made peace with her true identity.
“I wrote this book after my grandson chose the Holocaust as his subject for a class assignment and interviewed me as part of his paper,” said Ms. Rene. “That event triggered a thought in my mind that perhaps I should write this story down so that it would not be lost with the passage of time. I took some writing classes and joined a writing group in which we read our work. The first draft was received so enthusiastically by this group that I set about having it edited, and eventually published. I am pleased that it has done so well in the marketplace.”
Becoming Alice has placed and has won numerous industry awards, the most recent being chosen Winner in the Hollywood Book Festival 2009 Contest, Teenage Category. It was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for 2008 in the Autobiography/
An excerpt from the book entitled the Camel Hair Coat was a finalist in the Southern California Genealogical Society Short Story Contest in 2007. Cashmere, another excerpt, received Honorable Mention in Byline Magazines 2008 Short Story Contest. The book was also chosen as a Publisher’s Choice Book by iUniverse in April 2007 and was chosen as a Star Book by iUniverse
in March of 2008.
“I am extremely grateful for all the awards Becoming Alice has garnered so far,” stated Ms. Rene, “and for the many positive reviews I have received.”
Ms. Rene is available speaking engagements and interviews. She can be contacted through her website, www.alicerene.com or using the information below. Becoming Alice is available for purchase online at www.amazon.com , www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.iUniverse.com , and from your local Barnes and Noble Bookstore.
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Alice Rene grew up in Portland, Oregon and attended Reed College before moving to California where she received a Master’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley. She worked as a Medical Caseworker at UC Hospital in San Francisco, teaching the house staff the importance of social and emotional issues in understanding and treating patients.
While raising three children, Alice worked as a travel consultant with a special interest in packaging and escorting groups to exotic foreign destinations. These trips were documented on film and shown at schools, clubs, and private gathering for entertainment and educational purposes.
She began writing seriously after a grandson interviewed her for a high school history assignment. She realized then that her story might be of interest to a wider audience. After studying the art and craft of writing for several years, she wrote her memoir, Becoming Alice.