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Lara's Shadow, A New Historical Novel, Tackles Jewish Forgiveness In Post-nazi Germany
By: Alan Fleishman
A Rookie Novelist At Age 71
Alan Fleishman published his first novel at the age of 71, his second at 73, and now his third - Lara's Shadow - at the tender young age of 75. After 43 fruitful years as a businessman, he started on this new career path at a time most people are retiring. When asked why, Fleishman said, tongue in cheek, "I just wasn't finished adding to my resume." The writer was quite surprised by the success of those first two novels, Goliath's Head and A Fine September Morning, so he kept on writing.
Lara's Shadow Hits Close To Home
Like the main character in Lara's Shadow, Fleishman is a Jew who served in a tank battalion in Germany at the height of the Cold War. The military tensions with the Soviet Union, and the tensions between the American soldiers and their German hosts, provided grist for an intriguing novel. But his new novel is not autobiographical, Fleishman insists, though he drew heavily on his own experiences. "I never even knew anyone like Eli Schneider or Lara Kohler. I wish I had. They're very interesting characters."
At the start of the novel, Eli Schneider hates Germans as hard as anyone can hate, and for good reason. They made him a war orphan. Then he falls in love with one of them. Eli is a young lieutenant in the U.S. Army, a Jew expected to defend the perpetrators of the Holocaust. He initially pursues fraulein Lara Kohler just for sex, but it's her quirky personality and fascinating mind that ensnare him. They fall in love. But in a country filled with former Nazis, there are bound to be secrets. He uncovers one layer of Lara's secrets after another until he must ask how much he can be expected to forgive. And how much responsibility she must bear for others' sins?
Not Your Typical Author's Presentation
Fleishman's promotional appearances are unlike typical authors' readings and book signings. His novels are historical fiction rooted in hard fact and well-imagined characters. To promote his books, he therefore uses his marketing experience to deliver multi-media presentations about the history that underpins each of his novels. He has delivered his presentations at public libraries, universities, synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, book clubs, churches, and book stores, from California and Arizona to Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
In a more serious vein, the author insists he has too many ideas for more stories to stop now. "Writing keeps my mind and body active. It also brings me enormous satisfaction when I give a presentation and see how people react, or receive a piece of fan mail, or get a good review on Amazon. Every reader brings a little bit of his or her own unique person to a book, and sees the books I write through their own eyes and experience, not mine. I'm still developing as a writer of fiction, but I think I might be getting better at it."
Today Alan lives with his wife Ann and Siberian cat, Pasha, high on a hill in San Carlos, California overlooking San Francisco Bay.
Lara's Shadow is available for purchase at the following e-tailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iBooks, Lulu.com, Smashwords.com, Powell’s, and many other e-tailers. It may also be purchased through nearly all retail book stores. It is available in hardcover, soft cover, Kindle, and most e-reader formats.
Visit www.alanfleishman.com to read an extensive excerpt and other facets.
B. Bennett Press
Publication date: February 16, 2015
Page count: 261 pages
Soft cover: $14.99
Page count: 261 pages
Kindle: $7.99 and other e-readers